Where is the epiphany in I Am The Messenger?

Expert Answers
ariel-mcgavock eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The epiphany of I Am The Messenger appears in the last lines of the story:

I’m not the messenger at all.

I’m the message.

At this point in the story, the author (presumed to be Zusak, but it is not clarified) has told Ed that he has made everything in the story happen to him:

“I killed your father, Ed. I organized the bungled bank robbery for a time when you were there. I instructed that man to brutalize his wife. I made Daryl and Keith do all those things to you, and your mate who took you to the stones. . . .” He looks down, then up. “I did it all to you. I made you a less-than-competent taxi driver and got you to do all those things you thought you couldn’t.”

Ed is dumbfounded, questioning if anything has ever been real; in the notes that the young man provided to prove that his story, he reads that it’s just as real as any story or idea is. But he still doesn’t understand why until later, with Audrey by his side and the Doorman contentedly asleep against the door. Then he recalls what else the young man said:

“I did it because you are the epitome of ordinariness, Ed.” He looks at me seriously. “And if a guy like you can stand up and do what you did for all those people, well, maybe everyone can. Maybe everyone can live beyond what they’re capable of.”

Ed has surpassed himself over the course of the previous six months. He had previously described himself as having no real accomplishments and no respect within the community; now he has touched the lives of dozens of people. Even as an ordinary man, he has accomplished extraordinary things that he never would have thought himself capable of. 

As he understands this, he realizes that his perspective was off. Ed thought that his role was to deliver messages—which he did—but now comes to understand that he was the message itself: that it is possible for ordinary people to be extraordinary in small but meaningful ways.