Owen Meany Sacrifice

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Owen Meany, the titular character of A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, is a character full of depth and substance. His role in the story is crucial and the sacrifices he makes are responsible for driving the plot and giving value to his character. Owen’s sacrifice of prized baseball cards and future for the military highlight his values of fate and friendship, and give deeper meaning to the themes of the novel. Owen Meany is essentially the one responsible for the death of John’s mother. Owen and John are best friends and Owen cares deeply for John. Shortly after the death of John’s mother, Owen shows his devotion to their friendship by delivering John a box of baseball cards. John emphasizes on their significance by mentioning,…show more content…
This certain sacrifice contributes to the idea of predestined fate, which Owen values above all else. Owen is extremely intelligent, especially since he received a scholarship to Gravesend Academy due to his high academic performance. Owen then gives up his effort in education when he enters college. John explains, “He quickly fell into a habit of getting no better grades than he needed to satisfy his ROTC ‘scholarship’; to my surprise, his best grades were always in the ROTC courses…” (Irving 439). Owen devotes his entire college career to his military training. The reason he does this is that he believes he is fated to. His entire academic future is thrown away because of Owen’s determination to fulfill the fate that God has set before him. Owen makes other sacrifices that affect his future, for the military as well. For example, Owen gives up his addiction with cigarettes and strives to push himself beyond what he is capable of so he can go to Vietnam. John elaborates on this by saying, “Something must have happened—the colonel must have said something to him—because that was the spring when Owen Meany stopped smoking; he just gave it up, cold. He took up running! In two weeks, he was running five miles a day; he said his goal—by the end of the month—was to average six minutes per mile” (Irving 470). The sacrifices Owen makes for his fate, which he values so highly, directly relate to the ending of the

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