Analysis of John Wheelwright’s Change in a Prayer for Owen Meany

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About this sample


Words: 785 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Aug 6, 2021

Words: 785|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Aug 6, 2021

In the book A Prayer for Owen Meany, there are many different characters that were appeared in the story. All of those characters have a very strong characteristic, and had a lot of thoughts on different things, and had their own ideas. Although not every character was involved in all chapters, or events, all of the character played a very important role that brings out the whole story. In all of these characters, I want to talk more about John Wheelwright, the narrator of the story, discussing how did John Wheelwright change from the beginning to the end of the story.

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Although the book is mainly about Owen Meany, John Wheelwright, also known as Johnny, is the narrator of the book. John is a boy that is very quiet, and he lives with his grandmother and mother, and have no idea who his father is. John is a best friend of Owen Meany, they met each other since they were very young. But they knew each other more until Owen accidently killed John’s mother, Tabitha, during a baseball game. It is very interesting that even Owen killed John’s mother, they could still get along each other, and became best friends. The relationship between John and Owen is really special than others, because it shapes and defines who he is and who he becomes in the future. We might all think that John is always protecting Owen, but actually, Owen is the one who always stand next by John and helps him when he needs help. One if the biggest example is Owen went through ninth grade twice, making sure that he is there for John, whenever John needs help. Owen also went to collage with John and helps him out, and this helped John a lot in succeeding in school and doing well in college.

It is very hard to see that John has big changes from the beginning and the end of the book, but this does not mean that John did not have any changes. One of the changes is his physical changes, the story starts from when John and Owen were still a kid, and there must be some physical changes on them. The first physical change we know is John’s missing finger, that was mentioned in chapter 8, the finger. The reason why John has a missing finger is because of Owen. Owen wants to keep John from fighting in the Vietnam War, so he cuts John’s finger off. This also shows that Owen really cares about John, and always stays with him when John has questions and problem. Because Owen saved John’s life, John was also very thankful for Owen cutting his index finger off, so he could keep being a student, and become a teacher later on. Another physical change of John is his hair turns white, but this happen after Owen’s death, John almost falls down from the stairs, and he hears Owen’s voice and feels that something is pulling him up. These events make him to experience a permanent and memorable physical change.

Besides physical change, John also changed his inside, his thoughts had a really big change after he grew up, especially after Owen’s death. The biggest changes happened to John is the death of Owen Meany, when Owen dies, it means that John had just lost his best friend. This affects John’s beliefs on God and his religion. In the very beginning of the book, we could see that John does not have a very clear, and not very sure about his beliefs of God, or his religion. John goes from having a lot of doubts about his faith to becoming deeply thinking and religious. And this made John decided to become a Christian, which was also mentioned in the very beginning of the novel. But this is not all, Owen’s death had another effect on John, besides it changed his beliefs on religion, it also changes his attitude towards the United States. John had lived in Canada for a long time since 1968, he was known for being weird and unorthodox, and his attitude to his home country is very strange to others, because he hates the United States. Some of his friends in Canada complained about this fact, and said that they think John is still living in the past. 

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John is not a person that could be changed very easily, he has his own thoughts and it is not shaken by someone easily, so that is one of the reasons why we couldn’t see he changed a lot when some events happened. People that could only change his thoughts are those who he trusts the most, knows him a lot, and very close to him.  

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Analysis Of John Wheelwright’s Change In A Prayer For Owen Meany. (2021, August 06). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 21, 2024, from
“Analysis Of John Wheelwright’s Change In A Prayer For Owen Meany.” GradesFixer, 06 Aug. 2021,
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Analysis Of John Wheelwright’s Change In A Prayer For Owen Meany [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2021 Aug 06 [cited 2024 May 21]. Available from:
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