Ref: C3741519

'Posssesion' is a powerful and frightening concept. One may be possessed by an idea and use this creatively or the idea may come to obsess and destroy. One possesses attributes or objects, but is it desirable to seek to possess another human being? These questions will be explored through study of A.S. Byatt's novel 'Possession', Thomas Hardy's 'The Return of the Native', Ibsen's 'Hedda Gabler' and a range of poetry.

Course aim

An exploration of the theme of 'Possession' in fiction, poetry and drama.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Identify three different senses in which the concept of possession in used in the set texts
  • Demonstrate, through close reading, an understanding of the techniques (point of view, metaphor, chronology and structure) used by the writers
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of the social and cultural context in which the texts were produced

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • Handouts will be provided in class or by email. You will need to have copies of the texts we shall study and will be encouraged to bring along copies of poems you consider appropriate to the theme of the course

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • You may find it helpful to read at least a part of A.S. Byatt 'Possession' before the course begins.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full Course information sheet



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  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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