Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

English (M.A.)

Degree Program


First Advisor

Ashley E. Shannon

Second Advisor

Kathleen M. Blumreich

Third Advisor

Benjamin G. Lockerd


Analysis of the novel Possession: A Romance by A.S. Byatt, in which Byatt contributes to a metamorphosis of the fairy tale genre through a reappropriation of individual tales and characters, such as the Grimm Brothers‘ Little Snow White and The Glass Coffin; Hans Christian Andersen‘s The Snow Queen; and the French fairy story Melusine. Analysis of the metafictional devices Byatt uses to achieve this reappropriation such as the writing and reading of letters, journals, and works of fiction within the novel, as well as an intertextuality created by repeating fairy tale allusions. Analysis of Byatt‘s character development of Christabel LaMotte, Ellen Ash, and Maud Bailey. Analysis of Byatt‘s investigation of the female struggle for intellectual activity (autonomy, privacy, artistry), a struggle that conflicts with cultural expectations of feminine domesticity and subservience and is in tension with the female desire for passion (love, sexuality, motherhood).