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Already in those few lines I hear echoes of class, lines written in flowery Pre-Raphaelite tradition. The first few lines of chapter one are poetry attributed to Randolph Henry Ash, which Byatt wrote herself.The title itself brings out the first questions of identity-Possession. Individual identity is lost in the way the book is written.
In Victorian tradition, it was the man who "owned" the woman, his wife.
Yet in this modern Victorian work, that becomes twisted.
The effect is that the narrative is essentially no different for each couple living in different time periods.
The same love story that defines Christabel and Ash in the 1860's also describes Roland and Maud in the 1980's.
There are several themes in Possession that tie this book to earlier texts that we have read.
Individual versus group identity, feminism, sexuality and the link between present and past are themes that Byatt deals with in her novel.
Until I read some of the reviews, I thought Byatt's Victorian characters were actual historical literary figures, when actually they are fictitious, and their journals, letters, and poetry are written by Byatt. The two main characters, Roland and Maud, are literary scholars living in the 1980's.
Their love story is shared and played out by the diaries, poetry, and correspondence of two poets and lovers from the 1860's-Randolph Henry Ash and Christabel La Motte.
Feminism is an important aspect in each time period of the This featured Essay On Emily Dickinson is one of many example essays available on this topic.
American transcendentalism was a philosophical, spiritual and literary movement that began as a religious protest within the Unitarian church.