Christina Rossetti- Goblin Market

          various interpretations

o   a children’s narrative poem

o   a rewriting of the Christian Fall with Lizzie as Christ figure…fall of women

o   playboy’s take: “the all time hard core pornographic classic for tiny tots”

o   a lesbian erotic poem; about sisterhood

o   a poem about the dangers of consumer consumption

          it’s not porn (difference between eroticism and porn)

          aspects of her repressed sexuality

          lesbianism important component of feminism continuum: spectrum of women caring for other women, resisting oppression through patriarchy

o   compulsory regime in our society

          it’s hard to distinguish between the two girls: Laura and Lizzie

          Rossetti was a religious person: goblins/ snake offer and are deceptive

o   they intend to allow evil into the world…evil = lesbianism

          Christian fall interpretation

o   Laura is tempted by fruit (Eve) because of her curiosity

o   Laura tells partner there is nothing to fear and she should eat as well (Eve)

o   world is edenic until this event (now mortality, death and sin enter the world)

o   goblin men (satan) take on the form of brutes that speak; they are deceptive

o   Lizzie (Christ) suffers for Laura’s sins; she giver her sister new life through a Eucharist “eat me”

o   Lizzie and Laura spread the gospel of salvation at the end

          Eucharist imagery of eating and drinking

          abundance and sensuality of fruit

          erotic nature of love (celebrated, brings life to Laura)

          strength together to resist goblins

          fall is sexual: Jeannie

          goblins are masculine, not men (principle of power) who want to exploit them sexually, want their bodies making them objects

          Lizzie suffers for Laura’s sake, but she abandons Laura in the first place!

o   without the power of the two, Laura is susceptible/ vulnerable to their temptations (not good/ bad)

          poem written for two different listeners? mixed audience

o   nuns & prostitutes

o   Rossetti volunteered at a Magdalene home

          simple poem, easily read

          fallen women: beyond redemption (disease & death)

          Laura resumes former life

          financial exchange (materialistic)

          goblin = deception…Laura = not fulfilled (sweet toothed, addiction)…sister= nun, can’t rely on others

          prostitutes can relate to Laura and nuns can relate to Lizzie, two are blurred

          they can now do without me, they’re absent from the poem

          girls are always alone, no friends, no parents, no husbands

          the males offer materialistic sex, the women do not; there is no financial exchange between the women

          the poem enables the virtuous women to recognize their own implication in the problem


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