A Prayer for Owen Meany is the story of John Wheelwright and his childhood friend, Owen Meany. It chronicles the aging John's memories of Owen's life and death, including the other boy's fierce intellect, rapt faith in God, and conviction that he himself was an instrument of God's will. Owen, enrolled in the military after his expulsion from high school, predicts his own death while defending Vietnamese children, an event that comes to pass in an unexpected manner at a stateside airport. John recalls Owen as a miraculous man.
The Picture of Dorian Gray is a novel by Oscar Wilde about Dorian Gray and his life of sin. Dorian's original wish comes true: that a portrait of him will age in his stead, after which he begins to seek out beauty. His lover Sibyl kills herself and Dorian falls into hedonism, lust and vice. Many years later, after realizing his fundamental selfishness, he attacks the painting and is later found dead and suddenly aged. The book presents a tension between aesthetics and ethics, between hedonism and righteousness.