In Victorian tradition, it was the man who "owned" the woman, his wife.
Yet in this modern Victorian work, that becomes twisted.
Possession is also an example of several literary genres, all written into one book.
At various times it gives evidence of poetry, mythology, a romance novel, a detective story, a fairy tale, journals and diaries, and scholarly writings.
This period began around 1836 and lasted to roughly 1860.
The beginnings of romanticist philosophy originated much earlier, around the end of the 18th century, but reached its peak of influence around 1840. The entire book seems one big reference back to something we've learned or read this May term. Byatt's novel Possession without having had British Literature, a lot of the novel's meaning, analogies, and literary mystery would have been lost to me.The title itself brings out the first questions of identity-Possession. Individual identity is lost in the way the book is written.Many times, the reader cannot tell one couple from the other-who is reading Ash's poetry, kissing, running away on a honeymoon of sorts, and making love?Interestingly, Byatt expresses many of these themes using symbolic color imagery, a technique that makes her writing reminiscent of Pre-Raphaelite style.According to Byatt, the "struggle of the individual to discover and then live out her own identity, an identity etched out only with enormous effort and determination" is a major theme running through many of her novels, especially this one. Are they owning and possessing their literary history, or does it possess them? This story within a story is strengthened by Byatt's ability to write Victorians accurately. "The serpent at its root, the fruit of gold /At the old world's rim, /In the Hesperidean grove, the fruit /Glowed golden on eternal boughs, and there /The dragon Ladon crisped his jewelled (sic) crest." Because of class, I was able to pick up on this poetry tradition right away.Although the book is modern fiction, much of it is a Victorian novel as well.Possession is characteristic of Byatt's love for intertextuality and imbedded texts.