Up until now we have seen how horrible the life of children was in England. Rossetti gives us a glimpse into the reality for girls specifically. Upper class women during the 19th century had to become something called "The Angel in the House." The phrase "Angel in the House" comes from the title of an immensely popular poem by Coventry Patmore, in which he holds his angel wife up as a model for all women.
The following excerpt will give you a sense of the ideal woman and the male-female relationship presented by Patmore's poem:
Man must be pleased; but him to please
Is woman's pleasure; down the gulf
Of his condoled necessities
She casts her best, she flings herself.
How often flings for nought, and yokes
Her heart to an icicle or whim,
Whose each impatient word provokes
Another, not from her, but him;
While she, too gentle even to force
His penitence by kind replies,
Waits by, expecting his remorse,
With pardon in her pitying eyes;
And if he once, by shame oppress'd,
A comfortable word confers,
She leans and weeps against his breast,
And seems to think the sin was hers;
Or any eye to see her charms,
At any time, she's still his wife,
Dearly devoted to his arms;
She loves with love that cannot tire;
And when, ah woe, she loves alone,
Through passionate duty love springs higher,
As grass grows taller round a stone.
In other words, a doormat!
If a woman did not follow this description, and especially if she had any relationship with a man before marriage, she was called "A Fallen Woman." She was excommunicated from her family and forced to live in poverty. Many turned to prostitution. The married fallen woman received even less sympathy, for no one will grant forgiveness to a wife and mother who betrays her family. Augustus Egg makes such a woman his subject in the three part series Past and Present (1858).
In "Goblin Market," Rossetti is trying to show that fallen women should not be banished from their families and from society to die. Instead, she thought other women should help them regain their life. Rossetti herself helped prostitutes by opening homes for them and their children. She worked with the Anglican Sisterhood helping fallen woman and children for years.
Reading the final stanza of the poem, what do you think Rossetti's lesson was in writing it?
There is two attached readings that you will read:
- Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti, and
- "There is No Friend like a Sister": Psychic Integration in Christina Rossetti's Goblin Market
Then watch the video: The Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Revolutionaries (BBC Documentary) Part 1.
After reading and watching the short video you will then have to write a 200 word journal on it, with your own personal thoughts. Please note that you should not write a summary but your own personal thoughts.
These solutions may offer step-by-step problem-solving explanations or good writing examples that include modern styles of formatting and construction of bibliographies out of text citations and references. Students may use these solutions for personal skill-building and practice. Unethical use is strictly forbidden.1. Blog
It is easy to understand the inspiration behind Patmore's poem given that this literary piece embodies the voice of the majority. During the 19th century, Woman is a second class citizen, who existed to serve the superior gender. Woman is a superficial being that wanted nothing more than to serve her master. Woman is there to cook, to clean, and to warm Man's bed. Woman should apologize...
By purchasing this solution you'll be able to access the following files: