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SEX & GOBLINS - Sexual images in Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market”.

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Introduction

SEX & GOBLINS - Sexual images in Christina Rossetti's "Goblin Market". In reading Christina Rossetti's "Goblin Market", I was first impressed by the colourful imagery and exciting events that take place in Rossetti's fantastic and mysterious creation. The adventures of Lizzie and Laura, and Lizzie's ultimate act of heroism at saving her sister from becoming another victim of evil goblin men, was fun to skim through quickly and enjoy on a surface level. But when I read the poem again, I noticed some serious sexual undertones throughout the piece. The goblin men and what they represented, their dealings with the sisters, and the sacrifices their victims must make all carry very sexual meanings and messages. In fact, I think many of the images in "Goblin Market" could be construed, in today's world, as a form of pornography. I'll go through various elements of the poem and explain how the representation of men the bonds of women can be interpreted as pornographic. Christina Rossetti invented the characters of the goblin men in order to explore many of the issues associated with feminism and gender roles in society. ...read more.

Middle

The men first seem perfectly nice and genuine, but when they are rebuffed they become violent and angry. This too can be said for many sexual predators. The "rape scene" with Lizzie later in the poem could be looked upon in a contemporary light as the violent outbursts of a scorned man bent on wicked and painful revenge. Whether Rossetti intentionally depicted the goblin men as such chilling and horrible sexual predators is uncertain. However, it is clear that in "Goblin Market", they are most definitely the villains. When the goblin men deal with the sisters, there are some very sexual ideas demonstrated. The objects of desire in the poem, the fruits, are described in an overtly sexual manner, by both the goblin men, and later the sisters themselves. Strong sexual suggestions are used in describing Laura's indulgence in the fruit, in her first encounter with the goblin men. Such sentences as "She sucked and sucked and sucked the more." And, "She sucked until her lips were sore." ...read more.

Conclusion

What I do believe to be important is Jeanie's aging and her gravesite. Jeanie was described to have "dwindled and grew gray." She became old and unwanted after a single act with the goblins. Age is definitely an important issue to discuss in the realm of women and therefore is mentioned in women's literature. Age used to be of importance for child bearing endurance, today it signifies beauty and the media attacks the self esteem of every women the minute she looks a day over sixteen, refer to any Calvin Klein advertisement. Even more interestingly there is a reference to Jeanie's fertility, "While to this day no grass will grow, where she lies now." It is not hard to understand where this reference is coming from as much of the reason men demanded to marry virgins was to carry a blood line and a women who is not a virgin before marriage would be considered infertile or ruined. The goblins traded fruit for virginity, today virginity is sold as an idea in primetime television, movies, pornography and white wedding dresses. ...read more.

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