The Chrysanthemums And The Goblin Market Analysis

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In the short story, “The Chrysanthemums” by John Steinbeck and in the poem “The Goblin Market” by Christina Rossetti the authors portray a tremendous amount of symbolism. “The Chrysanthemums” is a short story about a middle-aged woman named Elisa, who is married with no children and is very unsatisfied with her life. The poem, “The Goblin Market” tells a story about two sisters, Laura and Lizzie, who are tempted by goblins to eat the forbidden fruit they offer them. In the short story and the poem they use many of the same symbols to represent different aspects of the characters. Some of the symbols in each of these works are represented through objects like flowers, temptation to do wrong and through feminism. Both of these pieces of literature …show more content…
In “The Chrysanthemums” Elisa has no children with her husband, so she plants chrysanthemums and treats them as she would her hypothetical children, with extreme love and care. The chrysanthemums stand as a symbol for the children she wants but does not have, because of the protection and tenderness she expresses about the flowers. In a way, the chrysanthemums also represent Elisa and how she is unsatisfied in life with her husband (Craig.) In “The Goblin Market,” flowers are well associated with delicate and fragile purity. It shows symbols of this when the author compares Laura to a lily flower that represents purity. In line 81-84 of the poem by Christina Rossetti, it states, “Laura stretch’d her gleaming neck / Like a rush-imbedded swan, / Like a lily from the beck,” comparing Laura to purity (Rossetti, Christina.) Laura is initially pure in the poem, as a lily is, before she becomes corrupt by the goblins. In both of these literature pieces, delicate flowers are taken and made into symbols to show Elisa’s chrysanthemums as children and Laura as a pure lily, and there is also other symbols that portray …show more content…
In each of these works of literature, the role of women is expected to be in the home doing housework like cooking and cleaning. In “The Goblin Market,” women were too follow a certain code of conduct, and if they corrupt those standards, it lessens their worth when they are looking for a husband. Laura’s worth is depreciated when she eats the forbidden fruit from the goblins, but her sister Lizzie helps bring her back from her past indiscretions. This brings out the feminist motto throughout the poem that “there is no friend like a sister” (Rossetti, Christina, and Thunder.) Elisa in “The Chrysanthemums,” yearns for a better life away from her husband that would be filled with adventure and not having to answer to anyone but herself. The lifestyle of the tinker is the sort of lifestyle Elisa admires the most, and fancies for. The tinker lives as he wishes, goes where he wants and sleeps under the stars, and Elisa wants this but cannot have it (Craig.) It was not acceptable for women in this story setting to be free and on their own, as they desired. Readers are able to interpret that Elisa supported feminism because of her desire to live like the tinker, but she

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