Luscios Imagery

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  • Topic: Apple, Christina Rossetti, Goblin Market
  • Pages : 5 (1432 words )
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  • Published : October 1, 2009
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Analysis by Usama Ehsan

The poem "An Apple-Gathering" by Christina Rossetti because is powerful and moving. This poem is about the narrator, who, after plucking blossoms from the apple tree, is surprised to find no apples there.

The first quartet shows the narrator, probably because they looked pretty, "plucked pink blossoms from my apple and wore them all evening in my hair." She appeared disappointed and perplexed that there were "no apples there" in the "due season."

Like many of Rossetti's poems, a theme of betrayed love or unfulfilment of love is seen in this poem. She watches all her female friends walk by with full baskets, with neighbours "mocking her" because of her empty basket. The full baskets are teasing her "like a jeer." This is an example of pathetic fallacy. However, other friends are helped by "a stronger hand than hers", like Gertrude. The narrator believes that the love of a man is more important to her than just about anything, including song and the rosiest apples. The lines "A voice talked with her thro' the shadows cool, more sweet to me than song" and "I counted rosiest apples on the earth more sweet to me than song" demonstrate these ideas. At the poem's conclusion, she loitered, and, symbolising her tears, "the dews fell". Her tears fell, as the "latest" person said when they passed her, "the night grew chill" and she was alone.

This poem has an ABAB rhyming scheme,

Alliteration is also used in several lines of the poem. In "plucked pink blossoms from my apple tree," the short and sharp 'p' sound gives the impression of actually plucking the blossom from the tree. "Sweet voiced they sang beneath the sunset sky" is an example of sibilance. The soft 's' showing a soft, happy line - also, the people in that line (Lilian and Lilias) are together, which is the narrator's view of happiness.

Overall, "An Apple-Gathering" by Christina Rossetti is a poem dealing with a young woman's past rejection in love - at the beginning of the poem, she picks the apple blossoms instead of leaving them on the tree to bloom. Therefore, instead of leaving them to become apples and for her former lover Willie to help her carry them, she is left to walk home empty-handed and embarrassed.

Goblin Market
Rossetti is making an incredibly strong statment here. She was a devout Anglican, and in this poem, she portrays Lizzie as a Christ figure, and Laura as Eve, whom it was thought to be the reason for sin in the world (though the bible blames it on Adam as well.) She is taking a very radical stance with the homoerotic nature of this poem, and says that females have strong appetites but must learn to not give into temptation. The homoerotic bonds between the sisters are also a strong statement for Victorian times, as men are thought to have had to do everything for women. Rossetti demonstrates her stance against this "chivalry" by barely mentioning male roles in the poem.

n Christina Rossetti's long narrative poem, "Goblin Market," two sisters are tempted by evil goblin merchants who haunt the woods and allure maidens with sumptuous fruits, the traditional symbol of temptation in the Bible. Christina Rossetti clearly intended the fruit of the goblin merchants to symbolize the forbidden fruit in the biblical story when Laura asks Lizzie if she has tasted "for my sake the fruit forbidden." Christina Rossetti's use of meaningful religious symbolism contrasts with Dante Gabriel's tendency to take up traditionally religious symbols but leave them vague and empty of meaning. "Goblin Market," one of Christina's most sexual poems, contains numerous analogies to sexual appetites, but it is unclear whether she was aware of these sexual innuendos. As her desire for sensuous fulfillment becomes more intense, Laura takes on the characteristics of a beast, recalling the fate of many lustful figures in Dante's Inferno: (Laura) Then sat up in a passionate yearning,

And gnashed her teeth for balked desire,...
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