"Beautifully lyrical, clearly moral; but in the final analysis a children's poem." To what extent do you agree with this description of Goblin Market?.
Christina Rossetti hits a balanced mix of children's ideas along with adult themes in Goblin Market. However, the poem is aimed at adults since Rossetti uses imagery, similes and descriptive language to carry the theme of Christianity, temptation, relationships and sex throughout the poem. .
The language used to describe the fruit in the first verse is already introducing a sexual theme to the poem. "Plump unpecked cherries/ Melons and raspberries Swart-headed mulberries, Wild free-born cranberries," The passionate words, sexual sounds are very intentional and though sex is never explicitly mentioned, it is constantly referred to. Language often suggests a sexual growth, or readiness, "All ripe together".
The assault on Lizzie is not told as a rape, but the sexual allusions are there; "held her hands and squeezed their fruits." The violent acts inflicted upon her are not kicks and punches, but far slower and more thought out. "Tore her gown and soiled her stockings/ Twitched her hair out by the roots," The poem suggests more than a violent act of anger.
Not only is the act of sex referred to, but also temptation is woven into the descriptions of the goblins and the fruit. The goblins mere chant of "Come buy, come buy/ taste them and try them/ figs to fill your mouth." is enough to bewitch Laura into buying fruit she knows drove a girl to her death. "Jeanie She pined and pined away; sought them by day and night, found them no more, but dwindled and grew grey." Though the dangers and known to Laura, she finds the fruit and the chants of the goblins irresistible. The rhythm of the chants, made up of short, hurried lines read quickly and moves from one line to the next smoothly. It is inevitable she will fall once she has heard the chant start.