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The Goblin Market: Meet Singles Now!

bluebox's picture

I went to this class just to see what it would be like, because it fit in my schedule and I thought it might be interesting, but by the end of class I loved it and I'm so excited to learn what comes next.

My thoughts on Goblin Market seemed much different from everyone else's, but I was surprised that many people had pretty solid opinions on what it was about. Although I could just be seeing what I find familiar, I felt like it was telling a story of a woman who had an unhealthy relationship, and then regaining what she had lost.  It reminded me of the Twilight series (which is, in my opinion, a prime example of an unhealthy relationship) when Edward breaks up with Bella and she launches into a months-long bout of depression. Of course, Bella doesn't have a lesbian best friend to help her learn that she doesn't need a vampire (literal or literary) to use and abuse her in order to feel happy and satisfied in life.

It seemed to me like she was giving in to temptation, simply because you're not supposed to and you want to satisfy your curiosity. The concept of the "bad boy" has been sexy since at least 1865 and has evolved from goblins to the Fonz to Edward Cullen.

She needs to sort out her priorities.


melal's picture

Reflections on Goblin of Market

As a matter of fact, this poem also reminded me of stories of vampires, but in a different way. In Christina Rossetti’s poem, the goblins are described as numerous animals:

“One had a cat's face,
One whisked a tail,
One tramped at a rat's pace,
One crawled like a snail,
One like a wombat prowled obtuse and furry,
One like a ratel tumbled hurry skurry.”

It seems that these goblins are not that mysterious and otherworldly as vampires do. Nevertheless, when I reached the following content of the poems, I found that the goblin men, or rather the fruits they sell, which sap the consumers’ vital powers, clearly allude to one of the conventional monsters – the vampire. The vampire and the fruits sold by the goblins both have exceptionally beautiful and impressive appearances; both can be very seductive to young naïve girls like Laura. Yet this kind of seductiveness or sexuality is utterly destructive. The fact of their familiarity and apparent harmlessness, therefore, starts to evoke an effect of the uncanny as soon as their sinister motives are revealed. When Lizzie requires the goblins men to give back her penny and wants to leave, the goblins men

“They began to scratch their pates,

No longer wagging, purring,
But visibly demurring,
Grunting and snarling.
One called her proud,
Cross-grained, uncivil;
Their tones waxed loud,
Their looks were evil.
Lashing their tails
They trod and hustled her,
Elbowed and jostled her,
Clawed with their nails,
Barking, mewing, hissing, mocking,
Tore her gown and soiled her stocking,
Twitched her hair out by the roots,
Stamped upon her tender feet,
Held her hands and squeezed their fruits
Against her mouth to make her eat.”

As for the relationship between the two sisters, I’m more inclined to perceive it as sisterhood rather than lesbian affection. Though there is content in the poem depicting the relationship between the two sisters in sexual terms, but more we can see it as a mutual, caring, loving and supportive partnership – a bond between women that can properly be called sisterhood. From this poem, I can see that the writer is trying to show that women can, through the power of themselves, gain control over their fates and a degree of independence, and further save themselves from a ‘fallen experience’.