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COMPARE THE WAYS IN WHICH IMAGERY IS USED TO BRING OUT FEMINIST THEMES IN CHRISTINA ROSSETTIS GOBLIN MARKET, BRIDE SONG AND COUSIN KATE.

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Introduction

Extended Essay Subject: English Supervisor: Selina Krishnan Candidate name: Kamya Buch Candidate number: 002272028 COMPARE THE WAYS IN WHICH IMAGERY IS USED TO BRING OUT FEMINIST THEMES IN CHRISTINA ROSSETTI'S "GOBLIN MARKET," "BRIDE SONG" AND "COUSIN KATE." 1 ABSTRACT CONTENTS Introduction............................................................................................................................4 Oppression of women in a patriarchal society...................................................................5 The ability of women to exist independently of men.......................................................6 The portrayal of men in a negative light.............................................................................7 The vulnerability of women..................................................................................................8 Conclusion...............................................................................................................................9 Introduction The Victorian era witnessed the upsurge of various women's movements, as they opposed society's stereotypical image of female being a housewife and mother. Initial feminists ultimately aimed for the right to vote, along with better education, employment opportunities, wages and working conditions. Having a strong foundation of evangelism, Christina Rossetti supported the aims of the feminist movement. The publication of "Goblin Market and Other Poems" in 1862 was the first Pre-Raphaelite literary success. Rossetti often found herself caught between the claims of worldly passion and celestial faith - this schism was central to her life and her poetry and may have its origin in the tension between her Italian and English ancestry. Oppression of women in a patriarchal society "Cousin Kate" shows how women were identified by their physical qualities, revealing the predominantly sexual interests of men. ...read more.

Middle

The image of the "dove" in "Cousin Kate" symbolises the purity that feminists idealised. Rossetti's Christian beliefs as a platform for feminism are brought out, as seen with the link of the dove to the Bible: when Jesus was baptised, a dove appeared in the sky and the voice of God was hear. This suggests that women are able to live peacefully without male intervention. 201Neat like bees, as sweet and busy, The portrayal of men in a negative light Auditory imagery in the description in "Goblin Market" of the goblins "clucking and gobbling, mopping and mowing," depicts them as greedy, selfish creatures. The harsh consonant sounds highlight this, and work to bring out their threat to womankind, and the various forms in which they can seduce women. Visual imagery is used in "Goblin Market" in "plums on their twigs' pluck them and suck them, pomegranates, figs." The goblins' call for the girls to buy their fruits is a symbol of their desire for sexual activity, especially that of young, virginal women. The imperative is used to bring out this shallow motive, as Rossetti could be claiming that men are incapable of true love. ...read more.

Conclusion

This sequence can be likened to drugs, and the Victorian reader would be aware of the perils of taking these substances. "Cousin Kate" uses visual imagery in "your love was writ in sand" to depict the temporary nature of Kate's love as compared to her own strong feelings. This emphasises the bitter rejection she has faced, and the superficiality of the position that Kate has acquired, because something written in sand is easily washed away. The narrator's feeling of blame towards her cousin is brought out in how, if she was in Kate's place, she would have "spit into his face" instead of marrying him. Rossetti highlights the way in which he used her after leading her to believe he loved her. We also see the feeling of hatred the narrator generates towards the Lord, and she is trying to console herself by thinking about possible circumstances. The reader is encouraged to side with these emotions. Auditory imagery is used where Laura "whispered like the restless brook," to reveal the shy curiosity that is inherent in young women. The reader is reminded of this later on, when the goblins have exploited her purity and taken unfair advantage of her inquisitiveness. Rossetti warns the female reader against being deceived by the male kind. Conclusion 1 http://www.rossettiarchive.org/docs/nd497.r8.m33.rad.html 1 ...read more.

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