Goblin Market Interpretations: Annotated Bibliography

McSweeney, Kerry. “”What’s the Import?”: Indefinitiveness of Meaning in Nineteenth-Century Parabolic Poems.” Style 36.1 (2002): 36-53. ProQuest. Web. 19 Nov. 2018.

The article focuses on the analysis of Nineteenth-century parabolic poems to uncover the authentic style of those poems and artistic details used by poets to create original messages to convey their often progressive ideas to the audience. At this point, the article pays a particular attention to Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market, where the poet uses parabola to combine and confront Christian values, ideas and biases to new ideas grounded on historic and feminist ideology. The author develops the idea that poets like Christina Rossetti incorporated progressive elements in their poems under the impact of profound changes that occurred in the social and cultural life of people in the 19th century. In this regard, the emergence of feminism and realism became new mainstream trends, especially in the late 19th century. The historical background has had a considerable impact on the writing style and the key ideas conveyed by poets to the audience. Christian Rossetti created her Goblin Market in the time of the rise of feminist ideas which she attempted to convey to the audience.

McSweeny argues that Goblin Market subsumes both Christian and new historicist-feminist readings and illustrates the usefulness of an aesthetic approach in making qualitative discriminations and evaluative determinations. This means that the author of the article reveals that the poem is not a sheer feminist poem but it is the poem that mirrors the internal conflict the poet probably had, the conflict between traditional Christian values and beliefs and emerging feminist ideas and beliefs. The growing feminist consciousness of the poet manifested itself clearly in the poem. McSweeny argues that the development of feminist ideas inevitably clashed and challenged Christian values. At the same time, McSweeny admits that Christina Rossetti had to dare to challenge traditional Christian norms and share her feminist ideas with the audience.

The article gives insight into the historical background of Goblin Market and reveals historical, social and cultural factors that influenced the poet. In this regard, the article is useful for the study of interpretations of Goblin Market because the poet’s socio-cultural background influenced her ideas and messages she conveyed to the audience. The article reveals emerging feminist trends which had probably influenced Christina Rossetti in the course of her writing the poem. At the same time, McSweeny reveals the conflict between Christian values which were still dominant in society in the time of writing the poem and progressive feminist ideas which Christina Rossetti attempted to spread with the help of her poem.

Morrison, R. D. (2000). Remembering and recovering Goblin Market in Rosario Ferre’s “Pico Rico, Mandorico”. Critique, 41(4), 365-379. Retrieved from http://molloy.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.molloy.idm.oclc.org/docview/212446183?accountid=28076

R.D. Morrison explores the interpretation and adaptation of Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market by other writers. At the same time, the author of the article focuses her attention on the interpretation of the poem which inspired other writers to use the plot and elements of the poem in their works. In this regard, a noteworthy idea presented by the author of the article is that “Christina Rossetti represents her own anxiety of authorship in the split between one heroine who longs to `suck and suck’ on goblin fruit and another who locks her lips fiercely together in a gesture of silent and passionate renunciation” (Morrison 35). In such a way, the author of the article reveals the split of the main characters of the poem that gives multiple implications to the further interpretation of their divide. The author of the article refers to previous studies to give different interpretations of the split between the sisters the poet depicts in her poem. Steadily,  R.D. Morrison leads the audience to the conclusion that the split between the sisters is the result of the rising feminist consciousness in one sister and the traditional consciousness of a woman in the male-dominated society in another sister. The difference between the positions of two sisters could inspire feminist ideas which could be supported and shared by other writers.

R.D. Morrison argues that, in her short story “Pico Rico, Mandorico,” Ferre retells the basic narrative of Rossetti’s Goblin Market. As one might expect, Ferre’s re-vision of Rossetti’s narrative, now set in rural Puerto Rico, reveals much about its author’s poetic and political orientation-most obviously in the ways that it differs from Rossetti’s poem. In a way, Ferre is more radical in her views on feminism and the necessity of the reform, if not to say destruction of the patriarchal, male-dominated society. Ferre is more specific about blaming-and ultimately attempting to transform-the patriarchal, capitalistic culture that rules over the working-class characters in her tale. Although recent critics have worked diligently to identify feminist elements in Rossetti’s poem, Ferre’s story, not surprisingly, is more open in displaying its feminist (and perhaps Marxist) sensibilities. Reading the two works as a comparative case study not only yields some helpful insights into both of the works and their authors but illuminates an important aspect of literary influence between women authors.

The article is very helpful in the exploration of the impact of Christina Rossetti and her Goblin Market on other writers. At the same time, the article shows that other writers developed feminist ideas of Christina Rossetti and supported the claim to put the end to male-dominated society that neglected interests and needs of women.

Rappoport, Jill. “The Price of Redemption in “Goblin Market”.” Studies in English Literature, 1500 – 1900 50.4 (2010): 853-75. ProQuest. Web. 19 Nov. 2018.

The author explores possible interpretations of Goblin Market and meanings the poet attempted to convey in his poem to the audience. J. Rappoport holds the premise that the poet depicts the consumerist nature of women as Laura is seduced by goblins to buy their fruit. This episode is pivotal for Rappoport’s interpretation of the poem because the author believes that this is a symbol of the dominant economic relations and weakness of women, who cannot resist to market temptations and give in their life, health and happiness for the sake of uncertain good, like the fruit she purchases from goblins. Penniless Laura buys fruit with a lock of hair, representing the perils of female consumerism by becoming the very object consumed. This market research teaches Lizzie to use coin instead, locating exchange value in a silver penny to safeguard her own body and restore Laura’s. In this regard, it is quite symbolic that Laura hardly survives the experience of tasting the fruit she paid such a high price for. Unless Lizzie helped her, Laura could have hardly returned home and survived at all. At this point, the author of the article interprets the overwhelming impact of market and contemporary economy on women, who cannot resist multiple temptations and give in to purchase certain goods, even though by doing so they put at risk their wellbeing as well as life and health as was the case of Laura.

On the other hand, the author notices the feminist trends that are strongly present in the poem. J. Rappoport argues that it is only sisterhood that appears to have any saving power in this market-but it remains frustratingly unclear why this is so. The author of the article develops the idea that Lizzie saves her sister but the author does not explains why sisterhood turns out to be such a powerful tool that it had managed to break through goblins’ magic. At this point, the author of the article rather leaves it up to the audience to decide what was the reason for such effects of sisterhood.

The article is very helpful in terms of the interpretation of the main characters and their actions, but, more important, the article shows the overwhelming impact of market which is a very important idea which brings in the impact of the economic factors on the main characters of the poem. Therefore, it is not only culture or traditions that influence choices made by the main characters but also economic factors as well.

Victor, Roman Mendoza. “”COME BUY”: THE CROSSING OF SEXUAL AND CONSUMER DESIRE IN CHRISTINA ROSSETTI’S GOBLIN MARKET.” Elh 73.4 (2006): 913-47. ProQuest. Web. 19 Nov. 2018.

The article focuses on economic drivers of the behavior of the main characters of the poem and the vulnerability of the main characters of the poem to temptations of the market. R.M. Victor conducts the analysis of motives of the main characters and reveals the impact of material needs and wants of Laura as the major cause of her temptation and her inability to resist goblins. At the same time, the author develops an important idea about the poem that different interpretations of the poem correlate to various Victorian social symptoms or conditions, the often hasty recourse to an allegorical reading threatens to reify the poem as allegory, thereby ignoring the process of fetishism that the text identifies and at times criticizes. In such a way, the author of the article reveals that the allegory used by Christina Rossetti goes far beyond the mere economic relations and principles depicted by the poet. Instead, Victor suggests looking further beyond boundaries of social ties and social biases which actually urge Laura to give in to goblins and to purchase their fruit. In such a way, the author interprets the poem as the allegory on economic and social relations of capitalism. The author attempts to persuade the audience that Rossetti conveys multiple messages and she puts consumerism as the major vice that leads to the failure of the main characters and puts Laura on the edge of survival. At the same time, it is her consumerism that actually leads her to the early degradation and deterioration of her life.

The article is helpful in terms of better understanding of social and economic implications of the poem and the role of consumerism as the major driving force that explains the behavior of the main characters and urges them to the edge of survival. Nevertheless, the survival of the main characters is still in their hand and the article implies that the refusal from the mere consumerism is the possible way for salvation of the main characters of the poem, which Rossetti implicitly offers to the audience of his poem.

Works Cited:

McSweeney, Kerry. “”What’s the Import?”: Indefinitiveness of Meaning in Nineteenth-Century Parabolic Poems.” Style 36.1 (2002): 36-53. ProQuest. Web. 19 Nov. 2018.

Morrison, R. D. (2000). Remembering and recovering goblin market in Rosario Ferre’s “pico rico, mandorico”. Critique, 41(4), 365-379. Retrieved from http://molloy.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.molloy.idm.oclc.org/docview/212446183?accountid=28076

Rappoport, Jill. “The Price of Redemption in “Goblin Market”.” Studies in English Literature, 1500 – 1900 50.4 (2010): 853-75. ProQuest. Web. 19 Nov. 2018.

Victor, Roman Mendoza. “”COME BUY”: THE CROSSING OF SEXUAL AND CONSUMER DESIRE IN CHRISTINA ROSSETTI’S GOBLIN MARKET.” Elh 73.4 (2006): 913-47. ProQuest. Web. 19 Nov. 2018.

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[Accessed: October 1, 2020]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: October 1, 2020]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: October 1, 2020]