Good And Evil: The Role Of Men And Women In Literature

2265 words - 10 pages

"Goblin Market" by Christina Rossetti, is about two sisters who go trotting along in the market and see fine fruits. Laura tries to help her sister by constantly telling her not to look at the “evil” men selling the evil fruits. The naive sister gives in and gets sick after eating bad goblin fruit, and is soon healed because of her sister's bravery. When women show bravery in literature it is often a big deal because it is uncommon for the woman to be the hero. “We must not look at the Goblin men; we must not buy their fruits” (42-43). The previous quote is what Laura says to Lizzie as she expresses her knowledge about the goblin. This particular time, a woman is the hero. A woman is saving ...view middle of the document...

In this state, she is correct and is vocally being protective of her younger sister and being the “emotional” hero. When her sister, Laura falls into temptation, she becomes sick just as Lizzie has warned her. Bravery is shown again when she cannot stand to see her sister in the state she is in and she goes to the goblin market to offer them money and they do not accept that as good currency, but Lizzie refuses any other exchange for fruit. The goblins try to take advantage of Lizzie but she resists and fights her way out back to Laura. This is a major uproar for women in the society of the time and may be one of the first notions of the woman ideal role in modern day literature. No man is seen throughout the poem and this case, women would happen to be the “hero” and the good, and the goblins would be considered a villain and the evil.
Men don’t have a relevant role in the “Goblin Market”. The Females of the book dominated the story. Women dominated the story in every character role, being the naive one, the hero, the brave one, the one who sacrificed the loving one and so on. Some readers may feel this is piece of literature work that is empowering women, and some feel it is disrespecting men by not having them playing a dominant role in the fairy tale. Readers may also feel envious of the two girls being so close and loving each other so much and may think that this bond should be with a man. Whether the bond is husband and wife or sister and brother, it’s still involving a man. “For there is no friend like a sister/ In calm or stormy weather” (58-59) by Rossetti. This line is simply describing that Laura is Lizzies keeper and vice versa. There is no one that can replace or being healthier or closer than what you have with your sister because she’s always there for you. Although, the Goblins of the story are possibly interpretations of men described by Rossetti, I caught this envision by the goals of the goblins, the goblins want women locks of hair. The goblins are attracted to females, as are men. Goblins have a deep desire for women and in some cases will go too far lengths to get them. The way Rossetti described the goblins luring in the girl reminded me very much of a man and their want for women. “Our grapes fresh from the vine, Pomegranates full and fine, Dates and sharp bullaces, Rare pears and greengages, Damsons and bilberries, Taste them and try :”( 21-25). This line from the passage emphasizes my point on the goblins trying to real the girls in as men do. Therefore, portraying the goblins to be the “male” figure of the literature work, so the act of an actual man being relevant in this piece of work is absent but the representation and presence of a manly figure is most definitely prominent throughout the poem. The overall gender role in this poem is focused mainly on women. There is a glimpse of a man, but not characterized in the same way as they usually are around this time period of literary works. Good has once again...

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