Close Reading on “Goblin Market”

J’Lillian Mello

British Literature

Close Reading

23 March, 2016

Jeanie Foreshadowing Laura

            “Goblin Market” by Christina Rossetti, was written during the Victorian Period. In the poem there’s foreshadowing where Lizzie remembered Jeanie’s fate and warned Laura what could happen to her. Laura was too intrigued by the goblins fruit, and ignored the warning of what happened to Jeanie. Also throughout this passage, there’s a lot of rhyming that brings attention to specific words in her warning. The passage that foreshadows Laura’s possible fate is between lines 141-162.

Rossetti wrote what happened to Jeanie and foreshadows what will happen to Laura, which as the reader the rhyming stands out for a reason:

She pined and pined away

Sought them by night and day

Found them no more but dwindled and grew grey

Then fell with the first snow

While to this day no grass will grow

Where she lies low. (“Goblin Market” 154-159)

Rossetti wants the reader to know what would happen if someone ate the goblins fruit, which is the reason why these lines rhyme to catch the reader’s attention. The words away, day, grey and also the words snow, grow, and low all stand out and have meaning of what would happen to Laura. Overall, this quote from the poem is stating that Jeanie grew old and died because of eating the goblins fruit. This is foreshadowing what symptoms will happen to Laura because she has already eaten the fruit.

In conclusion, this passage reminds me of what was discussed in this past class. It was discussed about what medieval represents. Medieval represents many things like, firm bonds with one another, chivalry, escapism, morality, etc. It was interesting to see that the sister has this bond and worry for her sister and is trying to do the right thing and warn her. It’s intriguing to have these connections from the Victorian Period shown.

One thought on “Close Reading on “Goblin Market”

  1. Thanks for the connections to the Medieval Revival here, but I’m not sure I see how it fits with the textual example. Is this particularly medieval, in your opinion? In what ways? Similarly, how do you interpret the passage here? You say it’s important because Jeanie foreshadows Laura (but why is that important?), but we don’t get your textual analysis just yet.


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