by Christina Rossetti
Goblin Market Women and Femininity Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (line)
Morning and evening
Maids heard the goblins cry (1-2)
Only women can hear the goblins. Are the men completely absent in the world of "Goblin Market," or do the goblins not represent a threat to them?
"We must not look at goblin men,
We must not buy their fruits" (42-43)
Even "look[ing]" at the goblins is dangerous. This could be analogous to the widespread belief in Victorian Britain that young women should know nothing about sex, because even the barest knowledge could contaminate them and make them less pure.
Like two wands of ivory
Tipped with gold for awful kings. (190-191)
Laura and Lizzie are being compared to two white ivory scepters with gold on the ends. Since their skin is pale and their hair is golden blonde, the simile makes some sense. But what's the deal with these "awful kings"? Are the girls' bodies and hair only beautiful for the use of "awful kings"? Why can't they just be pretty on their own?