A Quick Note on the Rossetti POETS Day Post

I mentioned the parallel between the sisters Laura and Lizzie in “The Goblin Market” and the sisters Lilian and Lilias in “An Apple Gathering” in my earlier post. I didn’t make clear my beliefs on why Rossetti didn’t use the names of the first set of sisters twice rather than give the second original names meant to call the first to mind.

This is probably something apparent to many, but I had an “Oh… of course.” moment when thinking about it so I figure it deserves mention if for no other reason to show that what you may consider obvious I may consider cryptic and secreted away. We know that in “The Goblin Market” it’s Laura that gives in to temptation and that Lizzie resists in the face (literally) of an onslaught of enticement. We know who was strong and who was weak. That is not the case with Lilian and Lilias. They are meant to be counterparts to the first but not individually. One of the two has sinned, but we don’t know which. We assume the heroine of “An Apple Gathering” knows which of the two needed forgiveness, but to the reader, so complete was the power of redemption that, Lilian is indistinguishable Lilias and vice versa. We’re not supposed to be able to tell the difference.

I thought that was a deft little move on Chrissie’s part.