A Poem Of Bitter Repression Essay Research

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A Poem Of Bitter Repression Essay, Research Paper Goblin Market, written by Christina Rossetti in 1859 has been discussed in the light of many opposing interpretations; these two are perhaps the most significant and frequently mentioned in critical essays. In this essay, I will look at the evidence supporting both claims and attempt also to determine whether they are ~ necessarily mutually exclusive. ~ When it was first published in 1862,Goblin Market was largely seen as a moral fable aimed at children. However, this single reading proved to be limited and inadequate with further study, especially in relation to Rossetti’s other works, published around the same time such as No, / Thank You, John (1860) and Up-Hill (1858), for example. It would be difficult to miss the

feminist undertones in these two poems, and much of Rossetti’s other work. Whether her feminism is an expression of bitterness at her position in society or a more positive forward lookins fantasy and celebration is more difficult to ascertain, however.~’Whilst the latter poem begins in the very embittered sounding lines: Does the road wind up-hill all the way? Yes, to the very end. Will the day’s journey take the whole long day? From morn to night, my friend. (1-4) It concludes with the much more positive final verse: Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak? Of labour you shall find the sum. Will there be beds for me and all who seek? Yea, beds for all who come. (13-16) ~ This much shorter poem is a good example of the more general tone of much of Rossetti’s work and

of Goblin Market in particular. Especially at the beginning and~ indeed~throughout t~em we see many examples of powerful resentment and a derogatory attitude towards the goblins which, if we accept them as being representative of patriarchy in general, could be seen to apply to men as a group. The goblins’ fruit, which they are so desperate to get Laura and Lizzie to eat, is more than a metaphor for sexual experience, in my opinion it represents conventional heterosexual love relationships and marriage and the acceptance of one of the roles that society demands a woman must take.~The fruit is extremely, almost unbearably attractive,and seems to offer nothing but sweetness and pleasure. However, when it is tasted it immediately weakens the woman eating it and makes her mad for

more; she becomes complicit in her own destruction. Eventually she will fade to a shadow of her former self, and all she will be able to think of will be satisfying her own overwhelming urge for more. There is undoubtedly a very sensual and sexual use of imagery in the descriptions of Laura eating the fruit: She sucked and sucked and sucked the more Fruits which that unknown orchard bore; She sucked until her lips were sore;(134-6) but Laura also seems to be suffering the worst effects of an obsessive love affair: (She) knew not was it night or day As she turned home alone. (139-40) Once she has tasted the heady delights of the fruit she is alone, like the woman in the warning given by Lizzie: Do you not remember Jeanie, How she met them in the moonlight, Took their gifts both

choice and many,(147-9) but who eventually pined and pined away; sought them by night and day, Found them no more but dwindled and grew grey; Then fell with the first snow, While to this day no grass will grow Where she lies low: I planted daisies there a year ago That never blow.(l54-61) Whilst Jeanie can easily be seen to represent the typically Victorian image of the fallen woman who subsequently dies after her sin, there are also references to her consequent infertility (daisies on her grave fail to bloom.~ This is in my opinion a metaphor for an intellectual or artistic infertility brought about by her obsession rather than actual physical barrenness. Laura too shows that she is beginning to be besotted with the gifts of the goblin men when she recounts the wonders of the