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“Fallen Women” During the Victorian Period

I would like to examine “Fallen Woman” in Christine Rossetti’s works. Christine Rossetti was an English poet in the 19th century. She started writing in her teenage years since she was born from a mythical cultured family.  Rossetti’s grandfather was the one who printed the early poems for her when she was 18 year old. “Goblin Markets” and “A daughter of Eve” and other poem she published when she was 31.

In the poem “Goblin Market” there are obvious allusions to temptation, forbidden fruit, and Adam and Eve; there is a great deal of overtly sexual in the poem. The poem approach to this temptation appears to be ambiguous as the joyful conclusion offers the likelihood of Laura’s salvation while characteristic Victorian portrayals “fallen woman” finished into the fallen woman’s bereavement. Some people disapprove the poem as criticism of Victorian matrimony conveys and market (Moran, 2007, pg 88). The fruits show Victorian women elimination from the art world as per Sandra Gilbert. Feminine sexuality is also shown where Goblin utilized intelligent strategy to seduce Laura. The element of feminine sexuality also appears when Lizzie told her sister Laura “Eat me, drink me, love me”.

In the poem “A daughter of Eve” the narrator says she is a fool in the first verse. She was a fool for being departed during the day when everybody else was active and alive. She awoke at nighttime, when the “night is chilly” and everybody else was sleeping. She was lonely. She broke her probability of being joyful, bounded with loved ones and sunshine. She narrates that she “snapped her lily,” (Rossetti, 1995, pg 26) meaning she shattered something gorgeous.. In this poem there is no element of Victorian portrayals “fallen woman”.

Since 1880’s critics have viewed “Goblin Market” and “A daughter of Eve” as appearance of Rossetti’s homosexual politics and feminist. A number of critics propose the poems are on feminine sexuality relating to Victorian social mores. They are both written about women it shows that Victoria Rossetti the author played with feminine sexuality in both the poems.


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