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Symbol Analysis

Of course "money" has to be important in a poem with "market" in the title. But even though the market is central to the basic plot of the poem, money only changes hands twice. And the first time, it's not even real money – it's a lock of hair. So what's that about?

  • Line 120: Laura is the first to talk about money metaphorically. In this line, she says that the only "gold" she has is the golden flowers that grow on the "furze" (a prickly kind of shrub with yellow flowers).
  • Line 123: The goblins immediately pick up on Laura's use of metaphor, and point out that if the "gold" on the "furze" counts, why not the "gold" on her "head."
  • Line 126: Laura makes her metaphor relating gold coins to golden hair literal when she actually snips off a "golden curl" to use as money.
  • Line 127: Even Laura's "tear" related to something of monetary value (a "pearl"). It's as though her whole body is getting turned into something that can be exchanged, bought, or sold, just through the poem's metaphors.

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