A Prayer for Owen Meany

Mr. Chickering Character Analysis

The kind manager and coach of John Wheelwright and Owen Meany’s Little League baseball team. Right before Tabitha’s death, he tells Owen to bat for John in the lineup, and later tells Owen to go ahead and swing at the ball instead of taking a walk. When Owen hits a foul ball that strikes and kills John’s mother, Chickering both protects the modesty of Tabitha’s body (rearranging her body so that her legs aren’t splayed apart) and prevents John from seeing the traumatic sight of his dead mother by throwing his jacket over John’s face. Chickering dies of Alzheimer’s in later years, but never forgot that day.
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Mr. Chickering Character Timeline in A Prayer for Owen Meany

The timeline below shows where the character Mr. Chickering 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
Fate and Predestination Theme Icon
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...were growing bored with baseball. Their team was badly losing the game, and the coach, Mr. Chickering , was bored, too. The game was almost over, and he told Owen he could... (full context)
Fate and Predestination Theme Icon
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...third ball foul, and it struck John’s mother in the head, killing her almost instantly. Mr. Chickering reached her first; he closed her eyes and rearranged her splayed legs to preserve her... (full context)
Chapter 3: The Angel
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Back in the present, Coach Chickering is dying of Alzheimer’s. He occasionally remembers John and says things like “Owen’s batting for... (full context)
Chapter 5: The Ghost of the Future 
Fate and Predestination Theme Icon
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...the crowd must have also been watching the baseball game the day Tabitha was killed. Mr. Chickering is there, and Chief Pike. John remembers his mother had been waving to somebody in... (full context)
Gender and Sexuality Theme Icon
...long. If they have a daughter, they will insist in enrolling her in baseball, to Mr. Chickering ’s dismay. Amanda serves on the Town Library Board, and believes in banning books that... (full context)
Chapter 9: The Shot
Fate and Predestination Theme Icon
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...of the church as if he’s going to frisk the mourners for the missing baseball. Coach Chickering is there, and Buzzy Thurston’s parents, who recently buried their own son. Father Findley and... (full context)