Owen Meany Essay, Research Paper
During a person?s lifetime, that person may embark upon many different types of journeys. In a piece of literature, the journey motif is a distinctive idea, or theme that is elaborated on. The main character, John Wheelwright, from John Irving?s, A Prayer for Owen Meany, and Jake Barnes, from Earnest Hemingway?s, The Sun Also Rises, both encounter a journey through the mental, physical, and emotional events in their lives.
In these novels, the main characters recall their memories from the past and tell a story based on the events in their history. Firstly, the novel A Prayer for Owen Meany, tells the life of a boy named John Wheelwright. He shares his life and opinions about the death of his mother when he was only eleven, his best friend Owen Meany who helped him to believe in God, and his family and friends that influenced the person that he became. ?I am a Christian because of Owen Meany.?(Irving 1) In the novel, The Sun Also Rises; Jake Barnes tells a story about the special events the occurred in his life at the age of 39. He shares his thoughts on love with a woman named Brett ?It?s a very funny, and it?s a lot of fun, too, to be in love?, and a friendship with mainly three men who he travels to Spain with in the summer time. In both novels, each character shares in detail the events in their lives, and their thoughts on their life?s events.
The physical journey relates to the body, as distinguished from the mind, and concerns with matter and energy. Secondly, the main character John tells all about his adventures with his best friend Owen Meany. They played baseball, went to Sunday school, played in John?s attic in his Grandfather?s closet, searched through boy?s rooms at the Gravesend Academy, and spent all their other childhood memories together. John especially shared his stories about visiting his cousins. ?My mother and I would travel up north to visit Aunt Martha and her family.?(Irving 128) Jake Barnes rarely gets to rest in his story. He is constantly out drinking at caf?s and bars, out on the town, and going on a summer trip throughout Spain in towns such as Bayonne, with friends. He goes fishing, enjoys himself at a weeklong fiesta with dancing, drinking, and bullfighting, and ends his trip relaxing on beaches and visiting Brett. His entire trip was a non-stop adventure full of events and situations. The physical journey was an important role is north novels to see how the characters arrived at their final destination. ?The Anglican Church has been my church ever since I left the United States, twenty years ago.?(Irving 1)
Emotionally, the characters in these two novels are readily and excessively affected by events and situations caused by the emotion rather than reason. For example, Owen Meany was the best friend who helped John Wheelwright believe in God. He was a supposed ?son-of-God?(Irving 538) who carried out some important roles in his life. He was a virgin birth child, and after he was gone, he continued to speak and guide John and look out for him. He helped John become the man he is today. In Hemmingway?s novel, he cleverly shows the main characters? feelings of frustration and love for a woman named Brett (Lady Ashley). Brett is Jake?s best friend, and once, lover. After an accident in the war, Jake was left impotent which raised problems in the relationship. Jake frustrated at first learns to accept his reality ad learns to become comfortable with knowing what they could have had together. Brett and Jake are able to overcome this obstacle in the end, and remain best friends. They are disappointed but satisfied to know that they love each other, but cannot have one another. The Emotional journey each of these characters encounter brings the reader one more step closer to understanding and relating to the inner feelings of the characters in the novels.
In a Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, and The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemmingway, the journey motif is a distinctive idea and theme that has allowed their literature to become a such a success. Each of their works incorporates the mental, physical, and emotional events in their main character?s lives. This allows the reader to build an understanding and attachment to the thoughts, feelings, and situations that each character encounters and obtains.