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Mary and Magdalene Reintegrated Through Sisterhood in a Male-Dominated Goblin Market


Buhler, Vivian Huang (2015) Mary and Magdalene Reintegrated Through Sisterhood in a Male-Dominated Goblin Market. Senior thesis (Major), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/Z9959FST.


In her most celebrated and controversial poem, Goblin Market, Christina Rossetti presents an allegory of her own spiritual journey toward redemption as a woman, a sinner, and a reform worker. Through the stories of three young maidens’ misadventures among the goblin men’s “haunted glen,” Rossetti reveals the unjust Victorian binaries of male versus female, as well as virgin versus prostitute, and proposes an alternative definition of virtue attained through redemption that is accessible to all regardless of gender or social background. Using Jeanie, Lizzie, and Laura as figures for fallen woman, penitent, and sister, Rossetti further recasts the parallel feminine archetypes Eve, Mary, and Mary Magdalene as biblical paradigms of humanity united against the evils of the age, all equally destined for eternal salvation even if patriarchal standards should bar any such woman from an earthly life of honor.

Item Type:Thesis (Senior thesis (Major))
Subject Keywords:Goblin Market ; Christina Rossetti ;Male dominance ; Mary ; Mary Magdalene
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Biology and Biological Engineering
Major Option:Bioengineering
Awards:Mary A. Earl McKinney Prize in Literature, 2013. Hallett Smith Prize, 2013.
Thesis Availability:Restricted to Caltech community only
Research Advisor(s):
  • Gilmartin, Kevin M.
Thesis Committee:
  • None, None
Defense Date:2015
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:04182018-090000178
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:10814
Deposited By: Kathy Johnson
Deposited On:18 Apr 2018 16:08
Last Modified:04 Oct 2019 00:20

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