The Metaphor of False Epiphany in Contemporary Literature as Explored Through Selected Works of Thomas Pynchon and Don DeLillo

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Early nineteenth-century literature saw the emergence of a modernist movement, which sought to up-end the staid norms of literature. Rebelling against the priorities placed upon the proper balance of linguistic form in relation to subject matter, the modernists aimed at probing deeper into the human psyche.


Eliot, William Carlos Williams and James Joyce). Through a natural artistic progression of action/reaction, then, the post-modern movement that followed the modernist movement, used the trappings of relativity to examine and express that the juxtaposition of random events to expectations of relativity creates the illusion of an epiphany. In this essay, I will cite examples from two well-respected and critically acclaimed authors, Thomas Pynchon and Don DeLillo, to illustrate how they achieve this aim in contemporary perspectives, namely sociological and technical.
Before we get to our examples, however, we need to start with the idea of epiphany and its recent place in literature. Long has the term "epiphany" been part of the Christian lexicon. It wasn't until James Joyce introduced the term in his Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, that it gained a new connotation-one that deeply permeates literary fiction still today. An epiphany, as presented by Joyce, can be seen as the moment when a character comes to an illuminating realization wherein all that has been learned, or at least presented to the reader, makes sense as interconnected parts of a whole. ...
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