The Victorian era witnessed the upsurge of various women's movements, as they opposed society's stereotypical image of female being a housewife and mother. Initial feminists ultimately aimed for the right to vote, along with better education, employment opportunities, wages and working conditions.Having a strong foundation of evangelism, Christina Rossetti supported the aims of the feminist movement. The publication of "Goblin Market and Other Poems" in 1862 was the first Pre-Raphaelite literary success.

Rossetti often found herself caught between the claims of worldly passion and celestial faith - this schism was central to her life and her poetry and may have its origin in the tension between her Italian and English ancestry.Oppression of women in a patriarchal society"Cousin Kate" shows how women were identified by their physical qualities, revealing the predominantly sexual interests of men. "Praise my flaxen hair" brings out the stereotypical image of beauty of a woman, which the narrator was blissfully unaware of until her encounter with the Lord. We see Rossetti's attitude towards men of denying women the chance to develop personal qualities rather than physical ones.Kinaesthetic imagery brings out the injustice of the oppressor in "Goblin Market" when the Goblins "Tore her gown and soiled her stocking," which could suggest rape. Christina Rossetti worked in High Gate Penitentiary, a business devoted to saving lost and loose women, and this experience is reflected in her poetry.

The line 'streaked her neck which quaked like curd,' discloses how her purity has been tainted, a grounds for discrimination in Victorian society. Rossetti is appealing to the reader to understand the circumstances of "ruined" women and therefore sympathise with them.Auditory imagery in "Cousin Kate" is used in "howl in dust," to reveal the narrators pain from being used, which is intensified by the contrast with Kate, who can "sit in gold and sing." This reveals the structure of society at the time, and how a woman's social status was dependant on her husband. The "stronger wing" shows how Kate had a better opportunity to achieve a higher position, displaying Rossetti's frustration at the unjust lack of recognition of a woman's independence in society.The ability of women to exist independently of menThe sensual visual imagery could suggest the ability of women to exist sexually in the absence of men.

In "Goblin Market," their duality is brought out as they are "like two pigeons in one nest folded in each other's wings," and the reader infers they are protecting each other from the perils of the depraved world outside. Some of the most erotic moments in the text occur between Laura and Lizzie, when 'she kiss'd and kiss'd her with a hungry mouth." Laura is saved from her grim existence due to her close relationship with Lizzie, as through her sacrifice, she is able to regain life from the death that awaited her. Rossetti is trying to say that their mutual self-sufficiency leads to a fulfilling existence. Feminist religiosity is brought out through the reference to the last supper in "eat me, drink me love" when Jesus offered food and wine to his disciples before sacrificing himself for the benefit of society. Like Christ, Lizzie managed to remain pure in the face of the male threat.

Visual imagery is used in "kneaded cakes of whitest wheat" to depict how the sisters have succeeded in creating a space outside patriarchy: a world free of male influence. The "white" symbolises purity and peace, yet this is disturbed at the arrival of the goblins. Rossetti is referring to her fantasy of feminine freedom and self-suffiency, portraying men as the oppressor as a threat to their harmony.The image of the "dove" in "Cousin Kate" symbolises the purity that feminists idealised.

Rossetti's Christian beliefs as a platform for feminism are brought out, as seen with the link of the dove to the Bible: when Jesus was baptised, a dove appeared in the sky and the voice of God was hear. This suggests that women are able to live peacefully without male intervention.201Neat like bees, as sweet and busy,The portrayal of men in a negative lightAuditory imagery in the description in "Goblin Market" of the goblins "clucking and gobbling, mopping and mowing," depicts them as greedy, selfish creatures. The harsh consonant sounds highlight this, and work to bring out their threat to womankind, and the various forms in which they can seduce women.Visual imagery is used in "Goblin Market" in "plums on their twigs' pluck them and suck them, pomegranates, figs.

" The goblins' call for the girls to buy their fruits is a symbol of their desire for sexual activity, especially that of young, virginal women. The imperative is used to bring out this shallow motive, as Rossetti could be claiming that men are incapable of true love. Religiously, pomegranates were evil fruits for Hades, the God of the Underworld. When the goblin men tempt Laura, this can be likened to the serpent in the Garden of Eden. We see how early feminists like Rossetti took support in their evangelical beliefs.

The fact that "their fruits like honey to the throat, but poison in the blood" in "Goblin Market" reveals the dangerous nature of the men. Poison causes death, and Rossetti is making her idea clear, that men must not be sought after, or one will end up losing their life to them. She feels women in society have been oppressed long enough, and wants to encourage women to be self-sufficient like Laura and Lizzie. This is also brought out in the end of the poem when the 'sisters' are mentioned, suggesting these are daughters, and concluding the poem with not a single occurrence of a male figure apart from the evil goblins.The conniving nature of the men is brought out in the description of their "juice" as "sweeter than honey from the rock, stronger than man-rejoicing wine, clearer than water flow'd that juice" because we see the power it wields over young Laura. Rossetti brings out the ability of men to influence women and keep them pining.

In "Cousin Kate," the fact that the Lord "lured" the narrator shows how she was tricked into coming close to the Lord, because the word depicts the male figure as a hunter luring a prey close enough to catch.Kinaesthetic imagery is used to describe the men after Lizzie's encounter with them. The fact that "some writh'd into the ground" makes them seem pathetic, and Rossetti is stating that women are fundamentally stronger than men, both in moral and intellectual terms.The vulnerability of womenVisual imagery is used to depict the vulnerability of women where Lizzie is described "like a beacon left alone in a hoary roaring sea.

" She suffers at the hands of the goblins when she refuses to buy their fruit, as women even in today's society may expect abuse when rejecting romantic advances. The imagery depicts Lizzie as a pinnacle of strength, as the strong woman that Rossetti encourages the reader to be. When describing the goblins, Rossetti uses animal imagery with "like a wombat prowl'd obtuse and furry" to make the males seem almost like a predator to the female society."Laura most like a leaping flame" shows the effect the fruits have had on her. The reader infers this as a by-product of physical love, the flame symbolising the destruction of her sanctity. We see this destruction later on when "her tree of life droop'd from the root" to reveal Rossetti's belief that women could survive happily amongst each other without the interference of men.

Her energy of "leaping" is temporary, as this dies down when she isn't able to eat the fruits. This sequence can be likened to drugs, and the Victorian reader would be aware of the perils of taking these substances."Cousin Kate" uses visual imagery in "your love was writ in sand" to depict the temporary nature of Kate's love as compared to her own strong feelings. This emphasises the bitter rejection she has faced, and the superficiality of the position that Kate has acquired, because something written in sand is easily washed away.

The narrator's feeling of blame towards her cousin is brought out in how, if she was in Kate's place, she would have "spit into his face" instead of marrying him. Rossetti highlights the way in which he used her after leading her to believe he loved her. We also see the feeling of hatred the narrator generates towards the Lord, and she is trying to console herself by thinking about possible circumstances. The reader is encouraged to side with these emotions.

Auditory imagery is used where Laura "whispered like the restless brook," to reveal the shy curiosity that is inherent in young women. The reader is reminded of this later on, when the goblins have exploited her purity and taken unfair advantage of her inquisitiveness. Rossetti warns the female reader against being deceived by the male kind.