Goblin Market: Gender Issue/Feminism

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Goblin Market: Gender Issue/Feminism

In the poem by Christina Rossetti, the issue of gender has come out strongly, and in general, it can be said that Rossetti touches strongly the issue of feminism in the society. However, what is most notable is that the female gender is weak but there are females who are strong in character; for example, Laura falls to Goblin’s seduction even though the sister Lizzie stands her ground firmly. Lizzie heroically braves the temptations and actually exposes herself to sexual abuses. All of this to save the life of her sister. While discussing about the gender issue or feminism in this poem, the issue can be looked in two ways. The women are largely seen to be weak and can fall victim of the sexual abuse simply because they cannot control themselves or the men who are in their society are stronger than they are. However, it is also right to look at this poem as a way of educating the public of what women are capable of and their strong mission to condemn the kind of sensuous passion as well as the victimization of women. Lizzie is not like her sister; while her sister easily falls prey to the sensuous passion initiated by men, Lizzie goes out as a self sacrificing Christ figure to rescue out or to bring “life after death’. If women or the female gender was to be viewed as Laura, then, females are likely to remain weak; but, when women are to be viewed as Lizzie, then, they are waking up and taking what they were denied.

Goblin Market: The Religious Allegory. In this poem by Christina, we can note that the poet uses the religious symbolism to bring in the aesthetic value. Specifically, Christina Rossetti is known for her deep religious belief where she practiced Anglo-Catholic doctrines, and therefore, it is difficult to leave out the religious allegory in the whole poem. In this poem, most of the interpretation refers to her real life situation and this includes the kind of sacrifice that she underwent to make the kind of life that she was leading now of writing. Therefore, her deep religious personality can be said to be highly integrated to bring in the religious allegory. Edmond (170) writes that the poem puts Rossetti as a person who is of a female Christ figure and this specifically is represented by Lizzie; and therefore, there is a Christian allegory. In her real life, she has given up her marriage for the sole reasons of standing up with her religious beliefs, and she was known to have rejected James Collinson when she was a teenager of 18 years because the person was a catholic. Particularly, the poem illustrates some typical attitude of Rossetti in this poem, and she had a famous renunciation of love, which was attributed to her strong attachment of the religious faith; and which was more than the art she was attached. However, the imagery in this poem combines sexual and religious issues at the same time and therefore it can lead to questions as to whether or not there is real religious allegory at all.

Goblin Market: Food Allegory. Food in this poem has come out very clear where; the market is being described as having various types of food. For example, there are the fruits and the roots. In this analysis, the focus is on the fruits because they are the most noticeable and the most referred. In total, there are 29 types of fruits mentioned, and this comes with the fact that the striking thing about the poem is the market. In line 9, there is the use of metaphor that describes the fuzz of the fresh peaches while in the lines 43-45, Laura talks about the hungry thirsty roots of a fruit tree. Goblin is read to be force-feeding the fruits to Lizzie in line 406-407 and this is to underscore the violence depicted in the poem. In other instances, Lizzie is being compared to the orange tree in line 415-417 and is the tree that is being pollinated by the bees and the wasps; and the way this is put is to elaborate a clear form of simile. The issue of fruits or food in the market can be compared to the sexual desires that are in the market, and therefore, the issue of market changes to mean a market of hide and seek between the men and the women. In most of the mention of fruits in the poem, there is a kind of tussle between man and female, and this means that the way the concept of food is brought in has some sense of sexual desires and exploitation. According to Harris (97), in the traditional time, eating of fairly food was to mean that the person would not be satisfied and perhaps this is what Christina Rossetti wants to pass.

Works Cited

Edmond, Rod. Affairs of the Hearth: Victorian Poetry and Domestic Narrative. London: Routledge Publishers, 1998. Print

Harris, Jason. Folklore and the Fantastic in Nineteenth-Century British Fiction. Hampshire: Ashgate Publishing ltd, 2008. Print



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