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used in A Prayer for Owen Meany

19 uses
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move or slope downward


come from a higher or prior level in a hierarchy — as a person from an ancestor


come or arrive — especially from above — such as night or darkness
  • I remembered how he had appeared to all of us: like a descending angel—a tiny but fiery god, sent to adjudicate the errors of our ways.
    p. 496.7
  • I am descended from John Adams on my grandmother's side (her maiden name was Bates, and her family came to America on the Mayflower); yet, in our town, it was my grandfather's name that had the clout, and my grandmother wielded her married name with such a sure sense of self-possession that she might as well have been a Wheelwright and an Adams and a Bates.
    p. 8.5
  • They were not descended from the founding fathers; you could not trace a Meany back to John Adams.
    p. 21.8
  • They were descended from later immigrants; they were Boston Irish.
    p. 21.9
  • And from that moment of his introduction to my cousins, I would frequently consider the issue of exactly how human Owen Meany was; there is no doubt that, in the dazzling configurations of the sun that poured through the attic skylight, he looked like a descending angel—a tiny but fiery god, sent to adjudicate the errors of our ways.
    p. 72.3
  • Whereas the Rev. Mr. Merrill had heeded his calling as a young man—he had always been in, and of, the church—the Rev. Mr. Wiggin was a former airline pilot; some difficulty with his eyesight had forced his early retirement from the skies, and he had descended to our wary town with a newfound fervor—the zeal of the convert giving him the healthy but frantic appearance of one of those "elder" citizens who persist in entering vigorous sporting competitions in the over-fifty category.
    p. 113.9
  • ...Christmas pageant, since I was usually in Sawyer Depot for the last Sunday before Christmas; but Owen repeatedly complained that he was always cast as the Announcing Angel—a role forced upon him by the Rev. Captain Wiggin and his stewardess wife, Barbara, who maintained that there was "no one cuter" for the part than Owen, whose chore it was to descend—in a "pillar of light" (with the substantial assistance of a cranelike apparatus to which he was attached, with wires, like a puppet).
    p. 152.5
  • Barb Wiggin had difficulty locating them in the "pillar of light," while simultaneously illuminating the Descending Angel, Owen Meany.
    p. 152.8
  • He had many female visitors; when they wore dresses or skirts, the boys loved to watch them ascending and descending the stairwell from one of the lower floors.
    p. 156.1
  • Many of the pictures and magazines were partially destroyed by the effects of the boys' weight grinding them into the metal bedsprings, which were flaked with rust; the bodies of the women themselves were occasionally imprinted with a spiral tattoo, as if the old springs had etched upon the women's flesh a grimy version of lust's own descending spiral.
    p. 160.1
  • "Well, we all know who our Descending Angel is," she told us.
    p. 163.8
  • It made no sense, he claimed, to begin with "We Three Kings of Orient Are" while we watched the Announcing Angel descend in the "pillar of light"; those were shepherds to whom the angel appeared, not kings.
    p. 171.4
  • He directed a most unbabylike, sardonic look at Barb Wiggin, who only then regained her control; she moved the "pillar of light" back to the Descending Angel, where it belonged.
    p. 220.6
  • I would turn in time to see the ball in the net and Owen Meany descending—his hands still higher than the rim of the basket but his head already below the net, his feet kicking the air.
    p. 331.4
  • He was hearty-looking, in his sixties (or even in his seventies), a short, muscular man whose chest descended to his belt—or whose round, hard belly consumed his chest and rested under his chin, like a beer-drinker's boulder.
    p. 358.8
  • Thus did the headmaster descend the marble staircase from The .
    p. 400.2
  • And at the end of morning meeting, the headmaster's wife, Sam, shouted at those students who attempted to descend the blocked staircase by climbing over the ruined Volkswagen—in which the headmaster was still imprisoned.
    p. 401.5
  • I have heard it asserted that he is lineally descended from the eminent physician who assisted at the birth of Mr. T. Shandy and that in early years he added an 'e' to his name, for the sake of euphony, as other great men have done before him."
    p. 558.7
  • Although the sun had set, vivid streaks of vermilion-colored light traced the enormous sky, and through one of these streaks of light I saw Owen's plane descending—as if, wherever Owen Meany went, some kind of light always attended him.
    p. 595.1

There are no more uses of "descend" in A Prayer for Owen Meany.

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