Argumentative Analysis Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market”

Essay 4: Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market”

Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market” predates the previous two novels we read in a larger genre of literature deemed Victorian Gothic Literature. Rossetti’s work comes at the beginning of this movement and is therefore sometimes ascribed to earlier literary movements as well. Nonetheless, it shares many of the same principles as those works decidedly categorized as Victorian Gothic Literature, capturing moments of romance, horror, and cruelty.

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In our fourth essay, we’ll be moving toward a more detailed, more rigorous form of argumentation. In this fairytale poem, readers are guided through a cautionary tale about two sisters and their unfortunate encounters in the Goblin Market. Literary critics have debated since its publication the true meaning behind the tale, pondering what lessons Rossetti meant to impart in the writing of such a story. While Rossetti herself never confirmed or denied any of these suggested meanings, representatives from feminist theory, social and historical theory, religious and spiritual theory, and others have all claimed to know the “true” meaning behind thelines.

Therefore, it will be your job as a writer to review these theories, looking at the thoughts from the majority opinions, and argue for the assertion of one or more of these claims over the others.

This essay will be subjective, stocked full of your opinions, which are then supported by the claims of others, textual evidence, and your own analysis. Be sure that you have read Chapters 1-7 in They Say, I Say to help guide in evaluating and responding to other people’sopinions.

o             I have included a list of possible sources to get you started in later weeks. Pleaseunderstand that there are many other possibilities available to you through the MJC library print and onlinecollections.

o             Be sure to write a clear, accurate Works Cited page and match any sources on your workscited page to their parenthetical citations within thetext.

o             Please understand that sources such as Wikipedia,,, SparkNotes(or other literature summary sites), and other sites should not be used as professional sources. Please use sources found from MJC’s library, journal list, and online periodicaldatabases.

  • MLA must be observed in formatting and documenting (both on your Works Cited pageand parenthetically—see Chapter 11 of Writing andRevising)

o Please review plagiarism policies in syllabus and remember that plagiarism is not tolerated in any form. Students found to be recycling previous material, copying or misusing copyrighted information, using someone else’s work, and/or misleading their audience with ideas, evidence, or thoughts not their own will be referred to the Dean of Literature and Language Arts and, if need be, the Vice President of Instruction. Furthermore, students will forfeit a grade on the assignment or essay that has beenplagiarized.

  • Final drafts with excessive grammar and punctuation mistakes (5 or more similar problems) will be returned to the author for revision. Revised drafts must be handed in within 2 working calendar days. Students will lose 10% each time a draft is returned andrevised.

The Writing Process:

  1. Read and listen to Rossetti’s “Goblin Market.” As you read, make note of passages that seem tobe suggesting some larger meaning, some largermessage.
  2. Review Chapter 7 for method of development when analyzing a subject(119-121)
  3. Read Chapter 10 in Writing and Revising intently, noting how to substantiate, support, and present an argument.
  4. Read Chapters 5-6 in They Say, I Say and prepare for upcoming discussion boardrequirements.
  5. Read the excerpt provided from Burlinson’s article and begin doing extensive research on all possible theories for the “lessons” intended in Rossetti’s “Goblin Market.” You may find one theory oranother more compelling, but please be sure to read through research connected to each theory to be sure that you understand the argument of your opponents. It will make your argument that much more persuasive.
  6. Read Chapters 8-10 in They Say, I Say for more help in developing writing skills and completing Essay#3.
  7. Review Chapter 11, reminding yourself how these authors suggest that you integrate sourcematerial.
  8. Be sure to complete the discussion requirements in this unit, as they will prepare you to writeand think about Rossetti’s “GoblinMarket.”

Please understand that you must write at least 7 FULL pages to be eligible for a passing grade on both the first and final drafts of Essay #3. See the class syllabus for more information on thistopic.

Your comments on both your first draft and final draft will discuss the items listed above;however, scores will be provided holistically.

First  Draft:          10pts.

Final  Draft:         + 150pts.

160 pts total for Essay#3


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