A Prayer for Owen Meany

A red-headed former stewardess, Barb is brash like her husband, Rev. Dudley Wiggin. She enjoys picking up Owen Meany, who hates her. He antagonizes her by seizing control of her Christmas pageant, and she gets her revenge by manhandling him and giving him an erection right before the curtain goes up. As a former stewardess, Barb likes to run a tight ship, and Owen’s meddling infuriates her.

Barb Wiggin Quotes in A Prayer for Owen Meany

The A Prayer for Owen Meany quotes below are all either spoken by Barb Wiggin or refer to Barb Wiggin. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Fate and Predestination Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Harper Collins edition of A Prayer for Owen Meany published in 1989.
Chapter 4 Quotes

Barb Wiggin looked at Owen as if she were revising her opinion of how “cute” he was, and the rector observed Owen with a detachment that was wholly out of character for an ex-pilot. The Rev. Mr. Wiggin, such a veteran of Christmas pageants, looked at Owen Meany with profound respect—as if he’d seen the Christ Child come and go, but never before had he encountered a little Lord Jesus who was so perfect for the part.

Related Characters: John Wheelwright (speaker), Owen Meany, Rev. Dudley Wiggin, Barb Wiggin
Page Number: 169
Explanation and Analysis:
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Barb Wiggin Character Timeline in A Prayer for Owen Meany

The timeline below shows where the character Barb Wiggin appears in A Prayer for Owen Meany. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3: The Angel
Fate and Predestination Theme Icon
Christianity and Faith Theme Icon
Gender and Sexuality Theme Icon
...healthy, with a tendency to smirk. He was a bomber pilot in WWII. His wife, Barb, was a former stewardess with a manner as brash as his own, and their kids... (full context)
Chapter 4: The Little Lord Jesus 
Christianity and Faith Theme Icon
Gender and Sexuality Theme Icon
Powerlessness Theme Icon
Barb Wiggin is quite angry that Owen is upending all of her plans for the pageant.... (full context)
Fate and Predestination Theme Icon
Christianity and Faith Theme Icon
Gender and Sexuality Theme Icon
Powerlessness Theme Icon
...love this idea—Mary Beth wants to lift him up onstage like they do in class. Barb reevaluates how “cute” she used to find Owen, while Rev. Wiggin appears to recognize in... (full context)
Fate and Predestination Theme Icon
Christianity and Faith Theme Icon
Gender and Sexuality Theme Icon
Powerlessness Theme Icon
...to perform some gesture on Owen—she suggests kissing him on the forehead, which he refuses. Barb teases him about it, but he convinces Mary Beth to bow over him instead. (full context)
Fate and Predestination Theme Icon
Christianity and Faith Theme Icon
Gender and Sexuality Theme Icon
Powerlessness Theme Icon
...in awe for a long moment before the choir begins to sing the final carol. Barb wants to rehearse one more time, but the “Prince of Peace” declares, “I THINK WE’VE... (full context)
Chapter 5: The Ghost of the Future 
Fate and Predestination Theme Icon
Christianity and Faith Theme Icon
The Wiggins are outside the church with the Merrills. Barb hurries Owen inside to be wrapped in his swaddling clothes while the Merrills look scandalized... (full context)
Fate and Predestination Theme Icon
Christianity and Faith Theme Icon
Gender and Sexuality Theme Icon
Powerlessness Theme Icon
When Owen is finally wrapped to his satisfaction, Barb has to carry him over to the manger, since his legs are bound too tightly... (full context)
Fate and Predestination Theme Icon
Christianity and Faith Theme Icon
Gender and Sexuality Theme Icon
Powerlessness Theme Icon
However, Owen miraculously recovers his composure and controls his erection. As Barb mans the controls that raise and lower Harold the angel above the stage, Owen gives... (full context)
Fate and Predestination Theme Icon
Gender and Sexuality Theme Icon
Powerlessness Theme Icon
Barb grabs John as he finally leaves with Owen’s clothes and shakes him, ordering him to... (full context)
Fate and Predestination Theme Icon
Powerlessness Theme Icon
Dan tells Barb that he doesn’t want to have to tell the Vestry members the story of how... (full context)
Chapter 7: The Dream 
Gender and Sexuality Theme Icon
Powerlessness Theme Icon
...about JFK and Marilyn Monroe. She seems to enjoy Owen’s distress at the news; like Barb, she bullied young men. To her and her son, Owen seems laughably naïve and unworldly... (full context)