9

I am preparing a thesis for the rhetorical analysis of a photograph, and I and looking for a word (adjective) that could be used to describe a realization. It should include the meaning of words like ‘shocking’ and ‘sudden’. Such a word would fit well in this sentence:

It was as she noticed the dark connection between her greatest mysteries, the _______ realization set in.

  • In this context, maybe 'jarring' will do? – Gokul D Nov 30 '15 at 10:26
  • Welcome to EL&U.This post would be improved by explaining why you suggest this term, for example, by providing a dictionary definition or examples in the wild. I encourage you take the site tour and review the help center for additional guidance. – Nathaniel Nov 30 '15 at 11:22
  • I don't know if it's in widespread usage, but TV Tropes calls this a fridge horror, and the little comic in that article is exactly the kind of image is sounds like you want to portray. – Joshua Taylor Nov 30 '15 at 19:10
  • @JoshuaTaylor Welp, there goes six hours. Have a good one! – Nic Hartley Nov 30 '15 at 19:34
15

Startling:

  • so remarkably different or sudden as to cause momentary shock or alarm.

The Free Dictionary

14

"Epiphany" is sometimes used to signify sudden moments of clarity. In fact the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary carries the following definition: "A moment of sudden and great revelation or realization."

  • 2
    Although I considered it, was hesitant because it loses the dark tone, and I need an adjectives. Suggestions? – Thomas Gerot Nov 29 '15 at 20:49
  • Startling would seem to be the best choice, but it depends on whether you wish to emphasise the speed, unexpectedness, unwelcome nature, or darkness of the event. So words like shocking, terrible, disturbing, grave, sudden ... are all possible. And in terms of context and improved readability, I would probably add that after "mysteries,". – Cargill Nov 29 '15 at 21:28
5

The dark overtone can be provided by "horror".

I made a slight edit to your sentence:

It was as she noticed the dark connection between her greatest mysteries, the horror set in.

Or without the edit, used as an adjective as you requested:

It was as she noticed the dark connection between her greatest mysteries, the horrific realization set in.

0

Disclaimer: I've never encountered this word used before so I may be misinterpreting its usage. However, based on some quick research, it seems perfect for what you're describing.

Epiphany was my first thought, but since that wasn't dark enough for you, consider:

Anagnorisis (noun)

Dinctionary.com defines it as meaning:

"(in ancient Greek tragedy) the critical moment of recognition or discovery, especially preceding peripeteia."

While dark connotations may not be a part of the definition, the vast majority of the examples listed in the Wikipedia article on the term are shocking or tragic (e.g. The Sixth Sense).

0

"Disturbing":

Interfere with the normal arrangement or functioning of.

I think this word fits well in your sentence and conveys the meaning of something sudden and shocking.

0

thesaurus.com lists 'astonishment' as a synonym for 'shock', 'stunner', and 'stupefaction', in addition to its meanings of 'amazement' and 'bewilderment'.

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I think the most appropriate word to fill in that blank is 'staggering' or 'stunning'. So:

It was as she noticed the dark connection between her greatest mysteries, the staggering realization set in.

Or:

It was as she noticed the dark connection between her greatest mysteries, the stunning realization set in.

-1

Mindblowing, or, explosive. But I wonder, if it is a shocking moment, what are the signs- pounding pulse - a little gasp. - blurred vision? Maybe describing her reaction instead of the feeling would work

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