The poem, “Goblin Market” by Christina Rosettes, was originally intended to be a fairytale to teach children the simple click©: “Don’t trust strangers. ” Nevertheless, whether intended or not, the convoluted manner in which Rosettes crafts this poem, demonstrates that there are deeper meanings to this poem. The poem is no longer regarded as Just a children’s fable, but instead is viewed as social commentary in which Rosettes is commenting about the world around her. The poem can be understood more deeply when it is interpreted through Marxist criticism.
Marxist criticism, utilizes beliefs and ideas generated from Karl Marx. It involves analyzing the social structure, such as race, class and culture, and the distribution of wealth and power in a society. Utilizing Marxism criticism, we can further delve under the poem’s deceivingly innocent and childlike facade and better understand the socioeconomic relationships and social injustices that took place during this time period, the Victorian era. Through the use of Marxist criticism, the “Goblin Market” by Christina Rosettes becomes a social commentary that explores the issues of fatalism and seeks to debunk social injustices.
Marxism states that the power in society lies with the people who have more money or goods and that the class struggle can only be ended by a revolution of the proletariat, the laboring class. In “Goblin Market” Rosettes shows the class stratification between the two sisters and the goblin men, the latter being more powerful and controlling in the society. This class status is maintained till the end of the poem when Leslie, a member of the proletariat, fights back and there is a revolution to usurp the power of the bourgeoisie.
Give me back my silver penny/ I tossed you for a fee. “-/ They began to scratch their pates J No longer wagging, purring,] But visibly demurring”; Leslie uses her money to buy the fruit and take back the power of the proletariat (11). This is the class revolution, in which the bourgeoisie begin to question their power (demurring) and begin to feel threatened by the growing strength of the proletariat. The goblins do not simply succumb to the pressures and efforts of the proletariat, they fight back. The bourgeoisie physically fight back to reassert their social dominance. Lashing heir tails/ They trod and hustled her J Elbowed and Jostled her J Clawed with their nails”; the goblins are literally clawing to maintain their social standing, and when they are threatened they become belligerent and deem the only way to regain their position is through violence (11). This trend can be seen throughout history when the bourgeoisie feels that their status is threatened they will lash out and become aggressive. In “Goblin Market” Rosettes simply does not craft a work for children to read, but creates a world that emulates the real, increasingly capitalistic world in which Rosettes lived.
In the poem, the goblin’s marketplace represents a monopoly. As the owners of the monopoly, the goblins have all the power, rendering the protagonists, Leslie and Laura, powerless. The market itself is a representation of capitalism, where people own goods and businesses privately and are free to set their own prices, Marxist criticism Goblin Market Copy By claws solicit their goods, and make their own profits. The goblins in the market were willing to trade for their goods, but the only condition was that they would have to set the price. Laura wants to buy the fruit from the goblins.
Although she has no money, the billions insist that she can buy the fruit anyway: muff have much gold upon you head,”/They answered all together:’ “Buy from us with a golden curl” (4). In this situation the goblins are able to set the price. Laura does not have real money, but they allow her to pay with her hair, instead of money. As a result, Laura is indebted to the goblins. By allowing Laura to pay with her hair and falling into debt with them, the goblins are reasserting their power over the two sisters, as the heads of the monopoly. The goblins ensure their power over the girls by making them addicted to the fruit.
They must come back and buy more, because the goblins are the only suppliers that can provide them with the fruit that they are so dependent upon. In order to stay in power, the goblins need people to be indebted to them. This allows the globulins to exert control. Under Marxist criticism, capitalistic societies are characterized by the unequal distribution of material goods. This unequal distribution of goods leads to social stratification and often, social strife. The division of the classes causes the people of the lower class, the proletariat or the have onto, to new the upper class, the bourgeoisie or the haves.
Goblin Market” can be examined form and demonstrates this class perspective when “Laura stared but did not stir J Longed but had no money’ (3). Laura is clearly situated in a lower societal class than the goblins and she is admiring their fruit. The fruit symbolizes the materialistic possessions that the bourgeoisie usually have. Laura is admiring the goods and longs for them, like a person who longs for things that they cannot have. “Then sat up in a passionate yearning, and gnashed her teeth for baulked desire, and wept as if her heart would break”, Laura desired to have fruit but could not obtain it 8).
Buying the fruit, represents her desire to be like the bourgeoisie However, her status is ephemeral, because once the goblin men remove the opportunity to continue to but they fruit, Laura could no longer buy the fruit, and could thus no longer be like the bourgeoisie. In this way the bourgeoisie keep the proletariat class striving to one day become a members of the elite, so that in the proletariat’s struggle to socially climb, the bourgeoisie can exploit the proletariat, maintaining their status quo on top of the social pyramid. The “Goblin Market” by
Christina Rosettes was initially intended to simply be an entertaining child’s tale. However when the poem is analyzed from different perspectives, such as Marxist, mythological or psychological criticisms, the poem takes on a whole new meaning. By using Marxist criticism and analysis, we can better understand the socioeconomic status and the role of class, race, and culture in society. As a result, the “Goblin Market” becomes a social commentary, rather than a mere child’s tale, and it allows the reader to better understand the purpose and times of the author.
Goblin Market- Psychological Analysis Part of the Psyche (I’d, Ego, Superego) ‘d: the part of a person’s mind that relates to the person’s instinctual desires and needs. Ego: the unconscious part of the person’s which seeks to please the id’s drive in realistic ways that will have a long-term benefit. The ego attempts to control the old. Superego: the part of a person’s mind that relates to a person’s attitude about what is morally right and wrong. old=Laura ?”Curious Laura chose to linger/Wondering at each merchant man. (page 2) ?”Laura stared but did not streamlined but had no money’ (Page 3). ?”She sucked and sucked the more” (page 4) ?”She knew not was it night or day’ (page 4) ?”To-morrow night I will/Buy more” (Page 5). Laura is the ‘d, the part of the brain which relates to one’s desires. Laura is curious about what the goblin men have to offer and lusts for their scrumptious fruit. She is impulsive and succumbs to her desires and instinct and buys the goblin fruit. She immediately gives in and is rewarded by the pleasure which the fruit gives her.
The satisfaction of eating the fruit causes Laura to get so caught up in her unconscious desires that she quickly forgets about reality. When she comes out of her daze, she Anton remember if it is nighttime or daytime (5). Laura becomes instantly hooked and yearns for the fruit and the goblin men even more. Superego=Leslie ?”We must not look at goblin men,Me must not buy their fruits:/Who knows upon what soil they fed/Their hungry thirsty roots? ” (Page 2). ?”Oh,” cried Leslie, “Laura, should not peep at goblin men. (Page) ?”No,” said Leslie, “No, no, no;/Their offers should not charm us,/Their evil gifts would harm us. ” (Page 2). ?”Dear, you should not stay so litigating is not good for maidens;’ Should not loiter in the glen/Len the haunts of goblin men. (Page 4-5) Leslie represents the superego, the part of the brain which keeps the id to a high moral standard. In the “Goblin Market” Leslie, the superego is constantly at odds with Laura, the id. Leslie attempts to keep Laura on the right path and prevent her from succumbing to her desire for the fruit of the goblin men.
Leslie consistently warns Laura of the implications of becoming entangled with the goblin men. Leslie even reminds Laura about their friend, Jeanie, who got caught up in the temptation, which is the goblin men, and met an untimely fate. Leslie is in tune with reality and fights or Laura to recognize the consequences of her actions and tries to curb Laurel’s desires. Lassie’s Ego Leslie has a strong ego, the area which deals with perception of reality. Leslie demonstrates her strong ego when she uses her strong will to overcome the temptation that the goblin men try to force on her.
Leslie is able to resist the temptation of the men because she was in tune with reality. She uses Jeannine story as an anchor, and her strong will to prevent herself from succumbing to the calls of these merchant men. ?”We must not look at goblin men, / We must not buy their fruit / Who knows upon hat soil they fed / Their hungry thirsty roots? ” (Page 2, lines 8-10) ?”Do you not remember Jeanie” (Page 5, line 7). Goblin Men The Goblin men are annalistic people who innately cannot control their desires. They have a strong id, which is the part of psyche that controls desires.
They act impulsively and irrationally to immediately curb ? Their annalistic desire. They are not concerned about the means by which they satisfy these desires. ?”Though the goblins cuffed and caught her, / Coaxed and fought her, / Bullied and besought her, / Scratched her, pinched her black as ink,” (Peg 5, lines 21-24) ?”At last he evil people, / Worn out by her resistance, / Flung back her penny’ (page 15) Laurel’s transformation to the Superego of the children Laura becomes the superego for her children later on in life when she tells the children about her youth.
She does this to warn them to be smart, and to not to make the same mistakes. “Afterwards, when both were wives/ With children of their own;’ Their mother-hearts beset with fears,] Their lives bound up in tender lives;’ Laura would call the little ones/ And tell them of her early prime,] Those pleasant days long gone/ Of not-returning time:’ Would talk about the haunted glen,] The wicked, quaint rut- merchant men,] Their fruit like honey to the throat/ But poison in the blood” (Peg 15-16).
Addiction Stages of Addiction: Stage 1 :Experimentation Stage 2: Regular Use Stage 3: Risky Use Stage 4: Dependence Stage 5: Addiction Stage 1: Laura was curious about the scrumptious food that the goblin men were selling. Here the fruit can be inferred to represent drugs and the goblin men represent the drug dealers. The first stage of addiction is curiosity and then experimentation. Laura gives into her curiosity and buys the “fruit” using “a precious golden lock” [Laura] never tasted such before/ How should it cloy with length of use? She sucked and sucked and suck the more/Fruits which that unknown orchard bore;’ She sucked until her lips were sore;’ Then flung the emptied rinds away/ But gathered up one kernel- stone,] And knew not whether it night or day/ As she turned home alone/” (4). Laura experimented with the drugs and became hooked. She was so overwhelmed by what she had taken that she lost control of her senses (whether it was night or day). Stage 2: Regular Use/ Stage 3: Risky Use/ Stage 4: Dependence/ Stage 5: Addiction “l tee and I ate my fill,] Yet my mouth still waters still;/To-morrow night I will/ Buy more” (5).
After one use Laura became addicted to the “fruit” that she had received from the goblin men. She craves for the “fruit” because her mouth continues to water, so she must continue to take the “fruit” so that she can feel the same exhilaration that she had felt the first time she had tried the fruit. She is now dependent and possibly addicted to the fruit and needs it to feel alive. Quitting Withdrawal After getting her original fix, Laura no longer heard the goblin cry “Come buy, Come ay’, but her sister, Leslie, still heard the goblin men; in that moment Laura realized that she would not be able to satisfy her cravings. Must she then buy no more such dainty fruit? ‘ Must she no more such couscous pasture find,” Gone deaf and blind? ‘ Her tree of life drooped from the root:” (8). After this Laura began to suffer from withdrawals and began to dwindle. She experienced the symptoms of withdrawal: “Laura kept watch in vain/ In sullen silence of exceeding pain” “She dwindled, as the fair full moon doth turn/ To swift decay and burn/ Her fire away’ (8). That new reinvigorated life that she had experience from trying the fruit” was no longer able to be felt by Laura, her spirit could no longer feel lively without the assistance of the goblin men fruit.
Laura was painfully going through addiction and was dwindling till finally “[Laura] Seemed knocking at Death’s door” (9). Acceptance and Recovery “Leslie, Leslie, have you tasted/ For my sake the fruit forbidden? ‘ Must your light like mine by hidden,] Your young life like mine be wasted/ Undone in mine undoing/ And ruined in my ruin” (14). Laura realizes the implications of the actions and admits that she should have heeded to the warning by Leslie and realizes that she has met the same fate as Jeanie.
This is a crucial step to recovery, admitting that there was a problem and that she was at the wrong. Laura also realizes that the “fruit” had an adverse long term effect on her, Just like so many drugs do (temporary high, long term problem). “Laura would call the little ones/ And tell them of her early prime” (1 5), Laura now became a recovery story and wanted to spread her story and warn others not to make the same poor choices that she had made in her youth. She now becomes the superego of the children in her life, tirelessly trying to keep them from making poor moral decisions like she had.
Psychological effects of Rape ?”Hugged her and kissed her;’ Squeezed her and caressed her”- Page 10 Lines 20-21 ?”They trod and hustled her J… Tore her gown and soiled her stocking/ Stamped upon her tender feet” Pages 11-12 Lines 35-36 and 2 ?”Never mind my bruises” Page 13 Line 27 Although the goblins are acting inappropriately with Leslie, Leslie stays strong and does not deviate from her goal of comforting and ultimately saving her sister. She has physical bruises but comes away mentally unscathed. Sisterly Love or Something more? ?”Did you miss me? ‘ Come and kiss me.
Never mind my bruises/ Hug me, kiss me, suck my Juices/Squeezed from goblin fruits for you, Goblin pulp and goblin dew. ‘ Eat me, drink me, love me;’ Laura, make much of me” (Page 13 Lines 24-32). Despite the many sexual innuendos, it is clear that Leslie loves her “sister” and wants to help her out anyway she can. Rosettes hints that the girls share feelings beyond that of sisters. What is Rosettes implying? Rosettes may be exploring the stigmas of homosexuality in that time, or she may simply be commenting that women do not need men whether it be emotionally, sexually, physically or economically.