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Goblin Market ­ Christina Rossetti (Quotes)

`Women and Femininity' Quotes

Morning and evening
Maids heard the goblins cry (1-2)

Only women can hear the goblins. Are the men completely
absent in the world of "Goblin Market," or do the goblins
not represent a threat to them?

"We must not look…

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Like a vessel at the launch
When its last restraint is gone. (85-86)

Laura is compared to a ship after all the lines have been
drawn in and the anchor is up. She seems to have
completely lost her self-"restraint." No more inhibitions.
It's time to go for some goblin…

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And what are the "joys brides hope to have"? This might
be a reference to sex. Jeanie couldn't wait for her
marriage, so she dawdled with the goblin men and ate
their fruit. We now know that this was a big mistake.

In her gay prime (316)

"Gay" means happy…

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Laura can't wait for her second taste of goblin fruit. She's
like an addict: she can't focus on anything but where her
next fix is going to come from.

Then sat up in a passionate yearning,
And gnashed her teeth for baulked desire, and wept
As if her heart would…

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`Sin' Quotes

"No," said Lizzie: "No, no, no;
Their offers should not charm us,
Their evil gifts would harm us." (64-66)

Lizzie seems to realize that the goblins' fruits are a
temptation to be avoided. Her repeated refusal, "No, no,
no," suggests that she does, however, feel the temptation.

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In these lines, Laura actually calls the goblin fruit
"forbidden." It's the closest Rossetti ever comes to
comparing the goblin fruit to the "forbidden fruit" in the
Garden of Eden.

`Violence' Quotes

Their looks were evil. (397)

The goblins are just beginning to show signs of violence.
Earlier in the…

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Met the fire smouldering there
And overbore its lesser flame; (507-509)

Laura's recovery is described with very violent images. She
experiences something like a battle between the two
"fire[s]" in her body.


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