No, Thank You, By Christina Rossetti Essay

1733 Words Nov 17th, 2015 7 Pages
In literature, there were not many examples of women that refused to adhere to the status quo. We have plenty of men and women who wrote for the continuation of the male hierarchy. There were some, however, that decided to write in opposition to the norm. Christina Rossetti, for example, wrote a poem titled “No, Thank You, John” which criticizes the marriage system and indirectly becomes a proponent to the concept of the new woman. A new woman is considered to be independent, educated, and uninterested in marriage and family, as is the narrator of this poem. As such, this poem uses several tactics to convince the reader that the marriage system is broken and ridiculous through the eyes of a “new woman” narrator. Rossetti, an ally of the feminist movement, frequently criticizes those (including her own brother) for believing that women are second-class citizens next to their male counterparts. A new woman herself, she condemns male authors who believe that women are art instead of people. This will also become an apparent theme throughout this poem. She uses many of the defining factors of a new woman to explain how the gender hierarchy is unfair to women. We can see that Rossetti wove in her values as a feminist in order to reveal to the reader that women should be of their own person. Considered to be a fairly simple and obvious poem, “No, Thank You, John” should also be thought of as an advocate of the new woman concept. The narrator is directly rejecting a boy named…

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