What is the main theme in "Uphill" by Christina Rossetti?

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clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"Up-Hill" is a short poem comparing life to a journey.  It contains two voices.  One poses questions, the other answers.  The voice asking the question sounds worried and leary of the end of the journey, and seeks solace in hearing that the end contains a peaceful rest.

As in many of Christina Rossetti's poems, a prominent theme of "Up-Hill" is the idea of life and death, with a particular focus on the worry about what happens at the end of life.  Some have suggested Rossetti's Anabaptist background contributed to her fascination of life after death.  Others suggest that as a female poet in the 19th century, Rossetti might have adopted the idea of many female authors at that time, which was to become isolated in order to be successful (or viewed as successful) in the art of writing.  This isolation resulted in introspective and often morbid writing.