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People and Possession

If you love something, let it go. If it comes back, it was meant to be.
People have a hard time understanding that though, and instead want to possess other people. What are some reasons, we feel the need to "own" other people? What are some examples of these reasons being acted out in various pieces of literature. For example, in "A Picture of Dorian Gray" we see two characters fight over Dorian’s friendship. There are several examples of them trying to keep him away from each other. Perhaps, one wants to possess someone so that they can feel needed and loved completely like the witch who wishes to keep Rapunzel locked away in a tower. Or maybe your author didn’t finish writing your favorite story exactly how you wanted it. You decide to lock him in your house until he finishes it "correctly" as in Stephen King’s "Mercy". And of course there is the obvious. Love. We can find many references to wanting to own someone just because we love them.

  • Maybe think more about what lens you want to look at this from. Is the possession used to drive plot/conflict? Or is is used in a psychological sense to build characters? – MichelleAjodah 6 years ago
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  • I think marriage and the language/rituals surrounding it might be a more convincing form of ownership for the theory that love leads to this desire for ownership. I also think that Dorian Gray, at least from the friendship angle, is maybe not such a great support, though maybe you could convince me (but it would take a bit so maybe just focus on one literary work especially if it is more of a stretch). – KateC33 6 years ago
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  • That's just one probably bad example. My topic also doesn't have to focus on love. I'm trying to get people to think about the many reasons a person may want to control or "keep" someone and find examples of such reasons in literature. Maybe someone wants to befriend or marry someone else for power or money. You could even find a book involving kidnapping as "possessing this person" could lead trading them for money. Just get creative with it. In fact, I'd not use love as an example because it's obvious and overdone. – Tatijana 6 years ago
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  • I do like the psychological angle that you are taking. You may find that it is more worthwhile to narrow your literary focus to just one of your aforementioned works (personally, I would go for a more classical piece of literature, but that is my personal preference). But this seems to be fine as is. – JDJankowski 6 years ago
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  • Other pieces of literature that would work well with this theme of possession and love: -A Doll's House (Nora is owned by her husband and treated like a child until she realizes that her personal growth is more important than her duty to others) -Merchant of Venice (Portia and the probably-gay-Antonio fight over the affections of Bassanio by trying to make him the most indebted to them) – thekellyfornian 6 years ago
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  • Maybe it would be good to consider the ways in which people take possession of others in specific physical senses. How do the body parts interplay with the reasons for desiring possession? – jilltcundari 6 years ago
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  • "We accept the love we think we deserve" - Stephen Chbosky. That being said, perhaps 'possession' in a friendship is a matter of perspective. To one who has never experienced a genuine friendship, being owned might just be second best! Interesting topic. – SuzetteA 6 years ago
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