James Joyce Dubliners

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Epiphany Similarities
From the book Dubliners by James Joyce, I have found three great stories that demonstrate the main characters experiencing a distinct epiphany towards the end of each story. Although each character is different, as well as each story, their epiphanies reveal a similarity between the three. They all have something in common, some kind of timidness or weakness. The three stories I will be analyzing are “An Encounter,” “Eveline,” and “Araby.” The main character in “An Encounter” seems to recognize that he is slightly more timid than the other boys his age. At the end of this story, the main character becomes upset with himself for being so timid and shy, unable to speak up for himself. Consider the beginning of the story where, in reference to a playmate, he says “But he played too fiercely for us who were younger and more timid.” Also, in his description of how they played like the Indians during the “wild west,” he says “We banded ourselves together, some boldly, some in jest and some almost in fear: and of the number of these latter, the reluctant Indians who were afraid to seem studious or lacking in robustness, I was one.” This indicates that the main character recognizes his weakness, although he may not see it as a problem just yet. However, at the end of this story, the main character is faced with his weakness in an awkward situation. At one point in the story, he and his , Mahony, are approached by an older man. The older man begins to speak of strange things, such as young girls their soft hair and soft hands. He demonstrated with his speech by lowering his voice and speaking “mysteriously,” as if he were telling a secret, that he enjoyed discussing the subject. Then the old man walked away from the boys for a short period of time. Mahony notices that the old man was doing something strange. The boy never looked up to see what the old man was doing. I don’t think that he needed to look up to see what the old man was doing...
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