Why can't Laura hear or see the goblins after she's eaten the fruit in Christina Rossetti's "Goblin Market"?

Expert Answers

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

Anything that is first is also unique and cannot be repeated. In Christina Rossetti’s poem, the first taste of the fruit that the goblins offer represents the loss of innocence or purity. The goblins’ temptation, once the female gives in to it, will never again have the same force; the girl is lost.

Laura’s giving in to the temptation represents the individual succumbing to temptation, as in the loss of virginity—but it may be also be construed as biblical, like the fall of Eve, or human, as in the loss of virginity. Laura will continue to experience desire, and that desire will strengthen in intensity precisely because it cannot be satisfied; she can never repeat her first experience of the fruit’s taste or recover her lost innocence or virginity.

The magic of the goblin's fruit is the height of their trickery and torment. The goblins have cursed their fruit to do just what was described to Laura in the poem. In order to torment humans, they will be unable to obtain the fruit,...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 626 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
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team