Foreshadowing In John Irving's A Prayer For Owen Meany

Improved Essays
Can people really predict what will happen in the future? Numerous people will thoroughly debate yes or no, but when reading literature it’s certainly possible. Although, in literature fortune-telling is referred to as foreshadowing. Foreshadowing is a warning or indication of a future event in a piece of literature. In literature, the use of foreshadowing is a very efficient way to add dramatic tension and build anticipation in a story. Authors use foreshadowing to contribute depth and suspense to their writing. In A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving there are many crucial events that are effectively foreshadowed throughout the novel. Throughout this novel, one of the mysteries that Irving presents is the identity of Johnny’s biological …show more content…
This event is often foreshadowed in the form of a reoccurring dream or vision he has. He often sees things that he believes are events that will come to pass sometime in his future. The first example of foreshadowing is the incident that took place at the Christmas play. Dan, Johnny’s step-father, directs the play “A Christmas Carol”. Owen plays the part of Baby Jesus due to his size and his ability to persuade those around him. When Owen gets to his scene he freezes and faints. This is because Owen sees his name on the Tombstone instead of Scrooge’s. When he awakes he jumps up and lets out a horrific shriek and hurries off of the stage. Those around him just tell him that it was a vision, like a bad dream that everyone has. He specifically reassures them “I SAW MY NAME- ON THE GRAVE” (245). While all of this chaos is going on Germaine is at Johnny’s grandmother’s house and she claims to have heard a scream before Lydia’s unexpected death. It is left open for interpretation whether the readers believe that Germaine really heard Owen’s scream all the way from 80th Front Street, or if there is some other explanation for what she heard. This entire scene foreshadows Owen Meany’s actual death which occurs towards the end of the

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Fiction is a genre that just gets me motivated to read because the stories have so much action to it. It just wants me to keep reading it to find out what happens next. Also the amount of creativity the author uses is beyond the limit. When you are writing fiction, your imagination is sometimes testing your limits of what you can think of to put in your story. Your imagination is what makes the best fiction story.…

    • 1367 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Writers often take an item or idea and write a story in such a way that these symbols can have multiple meanings. Multiple threads are ultimately connected to one in the end. One brilliant author who was a genius in the symbolism concept was Nathanial Hawthorne. In his novel The Scarlet Letter, he creates a beautiful work which revolves around many symbols. The most prominent…

    • 1110 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    There are many clear influences on the author which would have dramatically shaped the plots and subplots of this novel. The author of this novel, Scarlett Thomas, has also had a life that could have shaped the plots of this novel; it is speculated that the protagonist of the story is loosely based on her. Overall the book has a very complex structure that is an enthralling story for any reader.…

    • 1113 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Throughout the story these differences become clear and give the novel great depth. Bradbury uses this tactic to build up interest for the readers to enjoy. He utilizes a foolproof plan to entice readers to his story. As a result of this added dimension and reliable writing strategies, Bradbury successfully wrote a popular classic novel that many…

    • 704 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Light and Dark Throughout “A Rose for Emily,” William Faulkner brings out two different sides of peoples conception about Miss Emily. In the story there is a light side and a dark side. “she has evidently shut up the top floor of the house.”(795) The men of the town attend Miss Emily’s funeral for public reasons, but the women attend just “to see the inside of her house.”(787) The inside of her house was never seen making it dark and mysterious, but when she passed everyone let the light into her house as they gazed upon it wondering what was inside. The setting of the story influences our views of Miss Emily in such ways that are almost unexplainable because of the mysteriousness in the beginning of the story and how she went about her life after her father’s death. When her father dies, she would not let the town take the body from her until three days past.…

    • 695 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    If Lotso was a moral person, he would help out the people that saved him. But, since he is an evil being, he was ungrateful and did not do as he was asked. Lotso made all the toys in Sunny Side Day Care go through terrible experiences, all because of his traumas. Lotso was like a dictator to the toys. In the movie, “ Lotso switches Buzz back into his original “space ranger” mode, and he makes him imprison all of his friends.…

    • 1113 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    How do authors manage to create suspense? In many stories authors often use suspense to create exciting and enjoyable stories . Sometimes though those stories can be creepy to no fault of the reader , but the story that is being told. Two great examples of this are “The Tell Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe, and “ The Pedestrian” by Ray Bradbury. They both use great suspense to enhance the story forward, the only question is how?…

    • 353 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Authors profusely use themes to add dimension, help the reader understand, and direct the reader in following the path of novel’s intention. Providing a novel with the structural value of a theme, the author keeps the reader guided. In a Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving uses themes to combine the complexity of his work. Without the theme of religion/doubt tying in with fate versus free will, the novel would lose substance and value. Faith and religion, without a doubt, is the underlying main source of the novel’s overtone.…

    • 1285 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In Laurie Halse Anderson’s writing of Chains, there are many literary devices that make the reader of the book want to read more, but mostly three of them that make the reader emotionally tie into the historic setting of the book. The three literary devices are foreshadowing, vernacular dialogue, and primary sources. They make the reader relate, smile, and worry about the characters. One example of a literary device in the book Chains, is foreshadowing. Foreshadowing are moments when the writer provides an early hint of what is to come later on in the story in order to create suspense for the reader.…

    • 498 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The suspense in "The Demon Lover" is abundant throughout the entire novel, but the foreshadowing also contributes to the build up of suspense. One scene that has foreshadowing is when the fiancé promised, " 'I shall be with you, ' he said, 'sooner or later. You won 't forget that. You need do nothing but wait '" (Bowen 3). This is a very strange and threatening line that Mrs. Drover has remembered.…

    • 1000 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays