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Compare Christina Rosetti's Approach to the Subject of Death in 'After Death', 'Remember', 'Song' and 'Dream' Making Reference to any of her Other Poems as Appropriate.

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Introduction

Compare Christina Rosetti's Approach to the Subject of Death in 'After Death', 'Remember', 'Song' and 'Dream' Making Reference to any of her Other Poems as Appropriate. Death was a favourite theme of the Victorian writers. Before antibiotics and a National Health Service it was common to die early in life from common illnesses such as tuberculosis and during childbirth. 50% of children died before the age of six in Hanworth, the Bronte sisters' village. The Victorians held expensive funerals that were showy and intrigued by the processes of decay, change and growth. Themes such as these are explored in novels such as 'Dracula' and 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde'. Many Victorians believed in life after death and also hoped for this. In 1851 a religious census found out that half the population attended Church regularly especially the middle classes. The Victorians believed that a good life on Earth would lead to happiness in heaven. However, all this changed as scientific knowledge was progressing. This made many people begin to take a less literal view on religion, pinning their faith on what they could see and prove. ...read more.

Middle

In the Victorian society motherhood was greatly admired. A mother's love was considered very important for children as the ideal woman dedicated her life to her family. A lot of women died during childbirth as it was a hazard in reality, sometimes because complications in the delivery but mostly because of puerperal fever. This is an infection we can now avoid by antibiotics. There was no effective contraception in the Victorian period; due to this married women had huge families, one pregnancy after the other. Marriage was considered before thinking about children as society had a cruel attitude towards children born outside of marriage. Women had little authority in the Victorian society so having children ruined the lives of unmarried mothers by leaving them unsupported and also making them out to be shameless. As neither mother nor child had any claim on the father. Christina Rosetti went through a lot in her life at only a young age. In 1840 her father became sick and later died. Christina Rosetti had her own breakdown as only a teenager as she had to go through seeing her father ill and dying. ...read more.

Conclusion

Many poets and writers were concerned with death. Rosetti seemed interested in how gender and sexual interest might affect the way people mourn. She explores the value of mourning in relationships in which the fleeting nature of love is acknowledged. Death is seen as an absolute relief from suffering, a rest from life's struggles or a conclusion of a journey or quest. The afterlife can be seen as an ideal place or a reward of enduring life. Death is the final resting place in preparation for ultimate joy and peace. Religious imagery appears in so many of her poems with the implication of fulfilment by resurrection with Christ. Sometimes Christina frequently juxtaposes the inadequacies, pain and struggles of the world with imagined pleasure and ecstasy of paradise. In 'Remember', 'After Death' and 'Song' the theme of death is related to loss of relationships. In the poem 'After Death' Christina Rossetti write that the woman in the poem is talking about the man not to him. Whereas in 'Remember' and 'Song' they are speaking to their loved one about a time when they will be dead. 'Remember' and 'After Death' both link as they talk about the end of a physical relationship. ...read more.

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