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In Rossetti's 'Goblin Market' the forces of life and love are threatened by death - elaborate.

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01/09/2004 In Rossetti's 'Goblin Market' the forces of life and love are threatened by death - elaborate. No matter from which angle it is looked at, Christina Rossetti's 'Goblin Market' is fundamentally a battle of good against evil. Throughout her lifetime, Rossetti insisted that this poem should be treated as nothing more than a harmless fairytale. If one look's at the poem from its intended angle, a story of two kind, pure sisters, Lizzie and Laura, begins to unravel itself to the reader. One learns of how in their village, evil goblin men do their best to tempt the village folk to buy the succulent, forbidden fruit. Although Lizzie refuses to succumb to the temptation, it is her sister Laura who first indulges herself. As the story unfolds, Laura becomes addicted to the forbidden fruit and touches death's door. It is only in the end when her sister Lizzie risks her life by eating some of the goblin fruit herself, that Laura is cured. This was because Lizzie was willing to sacrifice her life in order for her sister to be cured. ...read more.


In the poem the evil of the world is represented by the fruit. Like Jesus, Lizzie offered to sacrifice herself by taking the evil (fruit) in order to prevent death. One quote which I also thought had biblical connections to it was when Lizzie says "eat me, drink me", as I felt it was mnemonic of the Eucharist, eating the body and blood of Christ. Although at first the plot might sound simple and childlike, it is as early as the second stanza that one starts to feel a strong sense of cynicism emerging. This, in my opinion is first apparent at: 'Crouching close together.... "Lie close," Laura said, Picking up her golden head". Although at first glance the stanza the quote comes from paints an image of two pure sisters hiding from the forces of the queer goblins; endless sexual innuendos which later appear such as when describing the fruit, 'juice that syrups all her face' aid in leading the mind astray. As one rereads the line, a picture of two sisters, their young bodies bound to each other in the fear of being found, now appears. ...read more.


Like the theme of the poem of good and pure versus evil, while reading this, 'un-holy' thoughts seep into ones mind, and as Lizzie tries to battle evil, one tries his (or hers) hardest to remove inappropriate thoughts from mind, to concentrate on Lizzie's just plight. Addiction to the fruit is an evil which Laura clearly finds difficult to overcome. In modern British society, say the word 'addiction' to most people and drugs instantly enter the mind of many. Indeed, Rossetti's sister-in-law died of an overdose. Relating the fruit to a drug, fits in well with the theme of life battling with death as although a drug user might long to quit, its body cannot, and so an internal war commences with body and soul. Equally, one can look at life and death in a more symbolic way. Instead of talking about living itself, one relates life to being financially secure. In such a case, one can easily say that the goblins are representative of the salesmen, advertisers and marketers of corporate Europe who get us addicted to their produce (i.e. their fruit), landing ourselves as a society into unhealthy and endless debt we cannot afford which can ultimately, financially, kill us. This theory would fit in well with Rossetti's ideologies of living a simple, humble life. ...read more.

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