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Does anyone have any examples of epiphanies in literature?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I agree that given the grade where you are, the classical examples of epiphanies in literature might not have been introduced to you.  Don't worry, they will be.  I will try to take this in terms of Young Adult Literature that could be relevant to you and then go classical with it.  I think that Melinda's series of epiphanies in Anderson's "Speak" that help to define who she is and her eventual confrontation with "it" are powerful moments of self awareness and change.  At the same time, Brian Robeson's epiphany into "tough hope" in Paulsen's "Hatchet" is compelling in the formation of his...

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Alysha VonRueden eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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udonbutterfly | Student

An example of an epiphany in literature would be from the book The Lord of the Flies. A couple of the character's par take in a revelation of their own. Ralph, usually seen as the leader, has one where he is staring at the ocean and realizes that even though they constantly hope to be rescued there is a huge possibility that they may never leave the island. There is also Simon who is constantly worrying about how the boys are turning more towards their evil nature but then has an epiphany realizing that the boys are the beast and the beast are the boys.

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zumba96 | Student

Oedipus is one of the most important epiphanies. The entire time Oedipus does his best to leave the fate he is cursed with and moves to another town. In the process he completes some parts of his fate and destiny, which is his ultimate downfall. When he believes that there is no way he could have killed the King, because this would have meant that he was his mother's son husband. When the truth is unveiled and he realizes what he has done as well as all of the pieces fitting together, he is in shock and appalled. To make sure he would look upon no one else and see them looking at him with disgust/pity, he ends up blinding himself. 

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