John Wheelwright’s aunt, Alfred Eastman’s wife, and the mother of Noah, Simon, and Hester. Martha has always been slightly envious of her younger sister, Tabitha Wheelwright, who perpetually outshines Martha with her naturally lovely voice and beautiful figure. Martha claims that Tabitha is “a little simple” because she never went to college and became pregnant with a stranger she met on the train (Rev. Lewis Merrill). Yet she loved Tabitha a great deal, and is always warm to John. John calls her “a model of womanhood,” as sweet-tempered and happily domestic as could possibly be. However, being so content with her conventional path, Martha fails to understand how other women like her sister or her daughter could prefer a less traditional life.
Martha Eastman Character Timeline in A Prayer for Owen Meany
The timeline below shows where the character Martha Eastman appears in A Prayer for Owen Meany. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: The Foul Ball
...originally lumber. John’s uncle, Alfred Eastman, was in the lumber business. He married John’s aunt, Martha. Owen Meany’s family was in the granite business. Harriet Wheelwright believed that lumber was a... (full context)
...overnight for an early morning singing lesson with a teacher who normally only saw professionals. Martha disapproved of her sister’s frivolous path in life, although she was jealous of her natural... (full context)
Chapter 2: The Armadillo
Chapter 3: The Angel
...playing baseball. After the funeral, the Wheelwrights and Eastmans return to Harriet’s house, where Aunt Martha and Dan each invite John to move in with them. John decides to stay with... (full context)
Chapter 6: The Voice
...Christmas, as the Eastmans continue to not invite them up to Sawyer Depot. John thinks Martha doesn’t want to encourage Owen’s relationship with Hester—that’s what Hester says, at least, but John... (full context)
Chapter 8: The Finger
Chapter 9: The Shot