Category: Literature

In literature, a character has an epiphany when they experience a sudden insight or realization that changes their understanding. The term was made popular by James Joyce and fully divulged in his autobiographical novel, Stephen Hero . According to Joyce , epiphany is the moment when "the soul of the commonest object… seems to us radiant, and may be manifested through any chance, word, or gesture." This makes it clear that epiphany is a powerful rhetorical device that reveals character growth. Examples of epiphany in literature demonstrate a "coming to" or a realization. It demonstrates a level of character growth that's likely to change the direction of the story. Let's review some famous examples to see how it all works. The Dead His soul had approached that region where dwell the vast hosts of the dead. He was conscious of, but could not apprehend, their wayward and flickering existence. His own identity was fading out into a grey impalpable world: the solid world itself, which these dead had one time reared and lived in, was dissolving and dwindling. Although James Joyce skyrocketed the term "epiphany" to fame in Stephen Hero , it was also prevalent in many of his [...]

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