Temptation at the Goblin Market

The poem, “The Goblin Market,” alludes to the temptation of sexual desire and the consequences that follow if one were to succumb to it. The fruits that the goblins are selling represent the sexual desire and temptation that Laura eventually gives into when she consumes the fruit. The stanza “she sucked and sucked and sucked the more fruits which that unknown orchard bore… then flung the empty rinds away” (p. 4) emphasizes that Laura consumed as much fruit as she could, fully giving into the temptation until she was completely satisfied. Shortly after this stanza it is mentioned how a previous woman, Jeanie, succumbed to her temptations that later lead to her demise which is represented in the lines that say “she pined and pined away; sought them by night and day, found them no more, but dwindled and grew grey; then fell with the first snow” (p.5). This is similar to what we have noted in Dracula. Lucy is tortured by Dracula throughout with sexual temptation and when she “succumbs” to the power of Dracula and the temptations he is providing; it leads to her demise within the novel. Both pieces display a fear of sexuality and how it was viewed negatively during the time period they were written. These pieces provide the message for women that sexual desire has temporary pleasure while the consequences lead to a lifetime of pain and suffering. Sexual encounters have been mentioned in many of the pieces we have read, however, in these two recent works it has become very apparent and appears to be a strong theme throughout gothic literature. I am curious to see if this theme continues throughout other pieces we will read in the future.

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