Metaphor in Goblin Market

Metaphor Examples in Goblin Market :

Goblin Market 6

"wormwood..."   (Goblin Market )

Wormwood is a bitter tasting plant. It is often used to make vermouth, absinthe and other tempting adult beverages. Given that context, this metaphor conveys the idea that temptations lead to bitterness.

"grew grey..."   (Goblin Market )

Jeanie’s story is used to teach Laura a lesson. After Jeanie ate the goblin fruit, she began to “grow grey.” This greyness symbolizes old age and eventual death. The fruit causes Jeanie to die, much like how the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge condemned the biblical Adam and Eve to mortality. As we will see with Laura, eating the fruit forces the girl out of the timeless world of childhood into the limited time of adulthood; it starts the clock that counts down to death.

"warbling..."   (Goblin Market )

Rossetti has maintained a continuing metaphor of the girls as birds. Lizzie in particular is bird-like in her purity. Unspoiled, she “warbl[es]” as birds do for the “bright day’s delight.” Her attraction to this brightness is pure and reveals her pure nature.

"Hobbling..."   (Goblin Market )

The goblins are characterized as beastly and decrepit. The verb “hobbling” signifies moving in an uneven, clumsy, or otherwise graceless manner. It is generally used to connote old age or corruption. This depiction of the goblins sharply contrasts the innocent, golden depiction of the two girls: the goblins are corrupted while the girls are innocent.

"One may lead a horse to water, Twenty cannot make him drink...."   (Goblin Market )

This is a slightly altered form of the 12th-century English proverb “You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink.” Essentially, it means that you can give someone an opportunity, but you cannot force them to take it. The narrator draws on this saying but substitutes the number twenty to convey the magnitude of force the goblins apply to Lizzie, the proverbial horse in this scenario.

"sound to eye..."   (Goblin Market )

The metaphor “sound to eye” is a form of synesthesia, interpreting a stimulus generally experienced by a particular sense using another: hearing color, seeing sound, etc. This type of metaphor generally signifies an overloading of the senses, and in this context makes the fruit overwhelmingly sweet, brilliant, and tempting.