Goblin Market – Sexual Temptation

Through “Goblin Market” there are moments regarding the fruits that the Goblins sell, the cut hair used as a way to pay the Goblins for the fruits, and the violence that they use against Lizzie which refer to sexual temptation/curiosity, prostitution, and sexual assault respectively.

Firstly, there are many cases where the Goblins try to get people’s attention, by emphasizing how great their fruits are. The fruits seem to be described in a sexual way, “Sweet to tongue and sound to eye” (Rossetti, 1), constantly mentioning its freshness and exoticness “our grapes fresh from the vine” (Rossetti, 1). Laura, despite her sister’s warning, is curious to go up to the Goblins and ask for some of these precious fruits, “Laura stared but did not stir, Longed but had no money: The whisked-tailed merchant bade her taste, in tones as smooth as honey” (Rossetti, 3). Thus, Laura’s curiosity could have been considered as sexual, having a sexual temptation to eat the valuable fruits.

Secondly, early in the poem, Laura accepts to cut some of her hair and provide it to the Goblins as a form of currency, “Buy from us with a golden curl. She clipped a precious golden lock, she dropped a tear more rare than a pearl, then sucked their fruits globes fair or red” (Rossetti, 4).  Laura basically turns her hair into a product of value, essentially selling part of herself for these cursed fruits. This action resembles the one of a “whore” or a prostitute who would sell her body as a way to earn money or in this case magical fruits.

Finally, when Lizzie goes on to face the Goblins and tries to buy some fruits, she refuses to buy them with her hair and rather pay with actual monetary currency. When Lizzie continues to refuse the Goblin’s offer, they start to get angry and violent “their looks were evil”, “they trod and hustled her”, “elbowed and jostled her”, “tore her gown and soiled her stocking” (Rossetti, 11). These violent actions resemble actions or attempts of sexual assault toward Lizzie, which also resemble the actions that men took in the Victorian era when women were not “obeying” their men’s orders.

Religion in Dracula

The presence of religion in “Dracula” is very evident and plays a significant part in the book as characters use it as a way to protect themselves from the vampires.

The idea of religion can be noticed even from the beginning of the book, on Chapter 1 and page 11, when Jonathan Harker arrives in a hotel and is being warned by an old lady about “evil things” that are going to occur during that night. Later on, the old lady provides him with a crucifix to protect him from supernatural events. Even though in the beginning, characters such as Jonathan underestimated the idea of the supernatural, in the progress of the plot they seem to be using supernatural ways such as garlic rings and crucifixes to deal with Count Dracula.

Also, in Chapter 23 and page 136, Van Helsing uses the crucifix as a way of protecting himself and also as a way of power and control over the Count. Even though, Count Dracula has super strength, immortality, extreme speed, and many more supernatural features the power of religion is emphasized through the crucifixes and religious practices, which tend to make him weaker or at least distracted. The use of religion, however, is depicted more through objects such as the crucifixes rather than the actual faith in God.



Lady Audley as a “Creature”

“It’s not the least use to ask me, Mr. Audley, “she said. “I’m the most careless creature in the world;” (233).

In this passage, Lady Audley is talking with Robert Audley and says that she is “the most careless creature in the world”. The sense of the word creature can be seen multiple times in the book. For instance, on page 121, Lady Audley characterizes Mr. Audley as an “eccentric creature”, while on page 120, Lady Audley uses the expression “the dearest of all creatures” to describe Mr. Dawson.

The word creature seems to be mostly used by Lady Audley to describe other people and herself or used by other people to describe Lady Audley.

Moreover, it might also symbolize the unnaturalness and uniqueness of certain characters, especially George Tallboys and Lady Audley. For instance, because Lady Audley is so unique and so beautiful, she is not considered as a normal human being but as a “creature”, something different than normal. It works as a positive adjective for their appearance and actions.

However, in the last chapters of volume II, the sense of madness can be connected with the sense of the word “creature”. On page 273, Lady Audley being aggravated with Robert Audley’s accusations presents a terrifying image similar to a creature’s, which is obviously filled with madness as she threatens to kill Robert Audley. In this scene, Lady Audley presents a different aspect of the word creature, and instead of having a positive meaning, it actually has a negative one.

This passage explains that the word “creature” can work as a common theme or at least as a significant part of the plot and characterization of characters. Since lady Audley is a mystery by herself, it makes it even more mysterious when the author keeps expressing her as a “creature”. I believe that the author will be using the theme of madness more often which can be correlated with the constant characterizations of characters as “creatures”.

Lady Audley’s Charm and Alicia’s Jealousy

Passage: “In her better fortunes, as in her old days of dependence, wherever she went she seemed to take sunshine and gladness with her. In spite of Miss Alicia’s undisguised contempt for her step-mother’s childness and frivolity, Lucy was better loved and more admired than the baronet’s daughter” (55)

In many points of the book, there are mentions about how colorful and beautiful Lady Audley is. This also happens in this specific passage where she “takes sunshine and gladness with her”.  Of course, Lady Audley’s relationship with her step-daughter, Alicia, is not great at all. Her natural beauty gives another reason for Alicia to become more jealous of her and create more conflict between the two individuals. The hatred of course mainly comes from Alicia’s jealousy but can also be a difficulty or the inability of a step-daughter to connect with her step-mother since they are not biologically related. This creates trust issues for each side and might eventually result in bad consequences. Also, Alicia may be suspicious of Lady Audley’s actions and might think that her colorfulness is simply a distraction from others discovering something secret that people are not aware of.

The repetition of the colors is really common throughout the book and it forms a really important description factor. For instance, the colorfulness which is mentioned in this passage displays a beautiful image of an individual. On the other side, when the author describes people as pale or white, she describes them as not really attractive and with less energy and less life. This is also a common contrast that occurs in the text, usually with side characters such as Phoebe Marks and Luke.

I believe that the passage is really about emphasizing the bad relationship that Lady Audley and her step-daughter have in order to later in the book represent a significant part of the plot that can possibly connect their relationship with Lady Audley’s secret. I believe that because there is too much emphasis on their bad relationship and that cannot be happening randomly. This relationship may actually create more bad relationships with other people such as with the baronet and Mr. Robert. Everything happens for a reason and I believe that the fights that happen are happening for a specific reason that we do not know about yet.