What consitutes an analysis of an epiphany for a paper topic?Our assignment is to choose and perform an analysis of a specific epiphany.  I have chosen "Araby," but I don't quite know where to...

What consitutes an analysis of an epiphany for a paper topic?

Our assignment is to choose and perform an analysis of a specific epiphany.  I have chosen "Araby," but I don't quite know where to start and what all to include.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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For James Joyce, an epiphany is the moment at which a character has a sudden insight or enlightenment about his/her situation.  For the young narrator in Joyce's short story, "Araby," for instance, the ephiphany comes with the narrator's final lines,

Gazing up into the darness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger.

The narrator sees himself as a victim of self-deception who has been blinded by his infatuation--like the blind street on which he lives--and in darkness about reality--like the dark bazaar--and his relationship with Mangan's sister has been trivial--like the conversation between the English shop girl and the young men.  After his ephiphany, Joyce's narrator matures from an idealistic youth to a somewhat cynical young man.

James Joyce's story is very carefully constructed as details from the opening paragraphs, thus, tie perfectly to the ending.  Throughout the narrative, the boy confuses his infatuation and burgeoning feeling for Mangan's sister with his idealism and religious fervor.  Indeed, it is this confusion which leads to his crushing ephiphany as he realizes that his relationship, his conversations and meeting with Mangan's sister have been merely trivial [Notice in one meeting she turns "a silver bracelet round and round her wrist" suggesting the mundaneness of their conversation].

An analysis of the epiphany involves a retracing of the conditions and characteristics of the narrator that lead to his self-deception.  Then, this explanation is followed by an definition of the narrator's epiphany and how it came about.  That is, how the character realizes his self-delusions.

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