The stream of consciousness is a literary technique which consists in reproducing the free flow of thoughts, feelings and sensations of the characters without comment by the author. This is a technique similar to that of the interior monologue, which can be direct or indirect. The former refers to the direct presentation of a character’s stream of consciousness without the guiding presence of an author or narrator (es. James Joyce's Ulysses), the latter refers to the indirect presentation of a character’s throughts filtered through the voice of an anonymuous thirds persona narrator (Es. Virgina Woolf’s Mrs. Dolloway)
In the Joyce's works is very frequent the use of interior monologue, both direct and indirect. Through this technique, the writer almost disappears and the readers find themselves directly inside a character’s mind.
According to James Joyce, the "epiphany" is a sudden revelation in which any subject of common life, or a person or an episode becomes "revealing" the true meaning of life to those who perceive their symbolic value. It is a special moment, in which a character suddenly experiences a spiritual awakening, during which negligible details, thoughts, gestures, objects, feelings emerge and join together to lead to a new inner awareness. These are often buried memories or details for a long time in memory that suddenly come to the surface to initiate a thought process is often long and painful.
The epiphany is made by the technique of stream of consciousness.
The best example of epiphany can be found in "The Dead", the last story of collection "Dubliners". Here, at the end of the evening, when Gretta has lived a moment of suspension by present and remembers with great emotion, his old love, Michael Furey, who died at a young age for her, Gabriel lives the moment of revelation: he feels the futility of his life, his lack of courage, his indecision, the awareness of the absence of the love that has characterized his life. So, his vision also extends beyond his own existence to citizens that of all his countrymen, suddenly perceived as a "living dead", while snow falls over the city to symbolize the loneliness and the human inability to comunicate.