Linguistics and Literature Studies Vol. 8(2), pp. 51 - 56
DOI: 10.13189/lls.2020.080203
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The Figurative Significance of Intimate Possession in Affinity

Ya-Ju Yeh *
Department of English, Aletheia University, Taiwan


Affinity (1999), the British writer Sarah Waters' second novel, unfolds a suspenseful romance between two heroines, Margaret Prior and Selina Dawes in the setting of Millbank Gaol, one of London's most notorious prisons in the 1870s. Margaret Prior, an upper-class spinster, becomes a lady visitor of the prison, eager to escape her troubles and be a guiding figure in the lives of the female prisoners. Margaret finds herself increasingly fascinated by an apparently innocent inmate, the enigmatic spiritualist Selina Dawes. Selina takes a material strategy in order to gain Margaret's trust, which is, delivering Margaret something as gifts in the way of 'spirits'. Those objects are nothing more than ordinary ones regarding Selina, for instance, her own rope of hair or her neck collar. The personal possession, which serves as the very metonymy of Selina's affection or even herself, converts Margaret to believe in Selina's real spirit practice. Objects of possession assuredly function as a means of expressing the self or the way one lives and experiences so that they exert profound effects on manoeuvring the affinity relation. This paper aims to delve into distinct revelations of objects possessed and interpreted by the protagonists, examining how possession becomes an embedded expression of class politics in the prison and how objects involve mistress and maid relations resulting in diverse consequences of intimacy.

Intimacy, Possession, Sarah Waters, Affinity

Cite This Paper in IEEE or APA Citation Styles
(a). IEEE Format:
[1] Ya-Ju Yeh , "The Figurative Significance of Intimate Possession in Affinity," Linguistics and Literature Studies, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 51 - 56, 2020. DOI: 10.13189/lls.2020.080203.

(b). APA Format:
Ya-Ju Yeh (2020). The Figurative Significance of Intimate Possession in Affinity. Linguistics and Literature Studies, 8(2), 51 - 56. DOI: 10.13189/lls.2020.080203.