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Word Count: 568
The mythological fairytale and poetry excerpts add layers and depth to the book as well as tie the two parallel plots together Cristabels fairytale The Glass Coffin connects the Victorian and modern couple and also hints at a parallel romance between Maud and Roland The Glass Coffin is based off a Grimm fairy tale in which a fair-haired princess is rescued from a glass coffin which she was imprisoned to be a wizard At first glance as I was reading I gave too much credit to Byatt for writing so much poetry to fit the story but have realized she bases her poetry off of others This way the context of the story can be found in other literary pieces and add much more depth than she could accomplish on her own The parallels of the Victorian couple and the modern are first showed in Rolands internal monologue Blanche Glover called Christabel the Princess Maud Bailey was a thin-skinned Princess He was an intruder into their female fastness Like Randolph Henry Ash p 65 As we continue reading with Roland the protagonist is not a heroic princes but a humble little tailor a good and unremarkable man in search of work As if explanation is needed the reader assimilates Roland and this tailor together Nothing about Roland screams hero in fact when Possession was being published in America many were afraid Roland would not be seen as a hero but Byatt sets the readers mind set here to accept Roland as the hero throughout the book By resourcefulness courage and a gentlemans attitude the protagonist eventually open the glass coffin freeing the princess with a kiss The tailor departs nfrom the heroic trype whenthe narrator states And you may ask yourselves my dear and most innocent readers whether he spoke there with more gentleness or cunning since the lady set such store on giving herself of her own free will p 76
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