Imagery In Christina Rossetti's Goblin Market

Great Essays
Christina Rossetti’s poem “Goblin Market” provokes vivid imagery and illustrates the cost and consequences of rash actions. The narrative poem tells of two women going about their daily lives, one woman being steadfast in denying forbidden or dangerous choices while the other willingly risks herself due to being unable to resist temptation. Lizzie and Laura are both innocent and virginal at the beginning of the poem, but Laura’s curiosity proves to be stronger than her sister’s warning. Rossetti creates an uncomfortable struggle between the consequences of pursuing lust and the need to explore human desires. With language like “sucked” and “heaved,” Laura loses her youth and bloom as a result of taking the goblin men's fruit. A woman’s deflowering …show more content…
Mary Magdalene Home for Fallen Women (Poetry Season, n.d.). Her adoration of her sister, and the close bond they shared in the early portion of her life is well known and noted by literary scholars, this greatly impacted “Goblin Market”. Perhaps she hoped that through her literary work fallen women would seek a path to redemption, leaving their past indiscretions behind. Maybe she thought that if these women had a “Lizzie” of their own to keep them on the right path their lives might take the correct path. If they still choose “incorrectly” then through sisterly love they can see the error of their ways and go back to the straight and narrow. This sounds very close to the idea nuns held when working with “unclean” women. Women were expected to follow a certain social norms. Failure to meet these norms led to a less desirable accounting of a woman’s worth when she came to the marriage market. Those women whom remained chaste were seen as extremely desirable. Whereas those who gave into their carnal desires were seen as less than desirable. This view is a clear reflection of Rossetti’s morals which she learned from her religious leanings. Often morality is learned through religious writings, tales of adventure or warning. Unlike Laura, Lizzie heeds the warning and safeguards her virtue, thereby protecting her maidenly

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