Goblin Market Sexuality

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Goblin Market, written by Christina Rossetti is a poem that has “traditionally received as a facile children’s story or didactic fable with fairly transparent moral components (crossing). Many believe it to be a poem not just for children but with many meanings behind it like: redemption, consumption, sisterhood and sexuality. Goblin Market is summarized to be about: Two sisters, Laura and Lizzie, one of whom [Laura] succumbs to goblin men’s entreaties to ear their fruit and then dwindles with cankerous care, the other of who [Lizzie] refuses to eat and braves the goblin’s attack while seeking an antidote to save her sister (Rawson, 2011, p.429). Focusing on when Lizzie returns from the market, covered in fruit juices, giving herself up to…show more content…
In reading the sister’s relationship in a sexual way, we are able to see the difference between Laura and Lizzie’s kiss and the aggressive male sexuality expressed at the beginning of the poem in the market. The sister’s kiss is intense but is different from Laura’s exchange in the market place, though she is driven by her hungry mouth in both. Lizzie begins their kiss fully acknowledging it is to save her: “For your sake I have braved the glen / and had to do with goblin merchant men” (L473-474). Their act was simply to not just fulfill desire but to save Laura and “reclaim her sexual probity” (Mendoza, 2006, p.914). After the kiss was complete and Laura was beginning to heal, Lizzie stayed with her; “that night long Lizzie watched by her,” (L525). After Laura’s exchange with the goblin men, she never saw them again or heard their cries but with Lizzie, she watched over her, and they were together for “days, weeks, months, years” (L543) afterwards. Goblin Market is often seen as “an allegory against the pleasures of sinful love,” (Mendoza, 2006, p.915), and if this is the case, readers can assume that Lizzie and Laura’s love is not sinful but

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