Goblin Market: The First Sin Retold?

I believe that there is a moral to be learned from Christina Rossetti’s The Goblin Market but I do not think that it is the importance of sisterly love that is stated at the end of the work. I think that the moral that should be taken away from the story is to not give into temptations. I say this because of the similarities I saw between goblins inviting Laura to eat their fruit and Eve being tempted by the serpent to eat fruit from the tree of knowledge as seen in the old testament.

Laura’s sister Lizzie acts as the voice of God here saying “We must not buy their fruits” (43) and “Their evil gifts will harm us” (66) to warn Laura not to eat the fruit much like God did in bible when telling Adam and Eve “You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die” (Genesis 3:3, New International Version).  Laura is constantly tempted by the goblins to come eat the fruit by crying “Come buy, come buy” (90) whenever she would pass by them. She manages to fight off the temptation for a while but eventually gives in and trades a lock of her hair for some of the goblin’s fruit. This parallels when the serpent finally gets Eve to eat the fruit from the garden of Eden of by telling her that God won’t let her die but rather that her eyes would be opened to all new kinds of knowledge (Genesis 3:4-5, New International Version).

As we all know well, the punishment for Adam and Eve for allowing temptations to get the better of them was their removal from the garden of Eden, the pain of childbirth for women, and having to work for food (Genesis 3:16-24, New International Version). Laura’s fate in the Goblin Market is much different though. Laura becomes sick and begins “dwindling” (320) and “Seemed knocking on Death’s door” (321). She is being punished for falling into temptation like Adam and Eve were, but in a different way.

Although Lizzie’s love for Laura is ultimately what saves Laura from herself by the end of the poem, it is the fall of Laura into temptation in the first place that causes the events of this story. Therefore, the main moral that should be taken from the poem is that giving into temptation doesn’t come without cost. For Adam and Eve it was the fall of humankind, and for Laura it was her slowly dying before her sister’s eyes.

One thought on “Goblin Market: The First Sin Retold?

  1. The theme of sin here is clearly and simply explained. I encourage you in this way and thank you again for the knowledge you provide us with

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