Essay #1: Writing from Recall: Self

Essay #1: Writing from Recall: Self-Definition: Epiphany
Rough Draft Due:
Final Draft Due:
4-5 pages
[E]piphany, in literature, a sudden revelation of an underlying truth about a person
or situation. Taken from the Greek epiphaneia, the manifestation by the gods of
their divinities to mortal eyes, the term was first applied to literature by James
Joyce, who called his early experimentations with short prose passages
“epiphanies”. Such moments of insight form the core of Joyce’s short stories,
published in Dubliners (1914). (Encyclopædia Britannica Micropædia, 1974
“In literature, the sudden revelation of the meaning of something, an apercu; epiphanous
stories, such as those having to do with growing up into the adult world, deal with the
revelatory nature of what it means to be no longer a child or an innocent” (The Book of
Literary Terms, 1999 edition, by Lewis Turco)
Task: Write a 4-5 page essay defining yourself. Be sure to explain how you came to this
definition. I expect that you will need to construct this essay as a narrative. The examples
that you should consider, “A Hanging,” “Once More to the Lake,” “Araby,” and “Greasy
Lake,” are narratives, and they each deal with life altering experiences. Remember the
protagonist doesn’t change; however, his definition of himself changes. When you
analyze the work, determine how the narrator or protagonist is defined before and after
the defining event. For example, before the narrator actually goes to Greasy Lake, he
defines himself one way; however, after the event, his definition of himself is much more
complex. You may want to take the same approach. How did you see yourself before a
life defining experience, and how did you see yourself after it?