Explain the symbolism in Christina Rossetti's poem "Uphill."

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Christina Rossetti's poetry was known to her contemporaries as some of the most influential and deeply spiritual poetry being composed at the time. Her family was deeply religious, and Rossetti often examined matters of faith in her works, making her language easily accessible in order to appeal to a wider range of audiences.

This poem could easily be compared to other poems (such as Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken") where the speaker compares a journey along a road to the struggles of life. But in this poem, there are other, definitely biblical, symbols that influence the meaning as well.

The poem does open with a road that is "up-hill all the way." This symbolizes a difficult journey.

The "inn" referenced in the second stanza could allude to the place where Mary and Joseph searched for housing just before Jesus was born. Like the traveler in the poem, Mary was weary and in need of rest. Since there was no room in the "inn," she gave birth to Jesus in a stable. Jesus is known as a...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 857 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team