In literature authors often attempt to create meaning by causing characters to undergo some form of moral reconciliation or spiritual reassessment. In the case of Dubliners, James Joyce has created a series of stories that center on one central epiphany, that of paralysis within a cycle of frustration and disillusionment. The word epiphany is important because it suggests a divine manifestation of some kind. The characters in Joyce's stories are far from spiritual creatures, and in exposing the unostentatious and even unpleasant moments of their lives, Joyce leads the reader to sudden realizations regarding universal problems in society. In the story "Counterparts," the main character Farrington is a large vulgar man. He is trapped in a monotonous job as a copyist in a law firm, and it soon becomes clear that he is a raging alcoholic who cares about his work only because it provides him with the money to get drunk. "Counterparts" deals with Farrington's realization that he is trapped in an unfulfilling existence, paralyzed by his own alcoholism and ignorance.

The principal institution of paralysis in Farrington's case is the law office in which he works. Clearly, he feels absolutely trapped in...

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