Goblin Market has been read as a nursery-tale, as a portrait of a divided self, as a fantasy about sexuality, and, most recently, as a parable about sisterhood. In The Madwoman in the Attic, Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar observe that Christina Rossetti's Goblin Market has become a 'textual crux for feminist critics'. Gilbert and Gubar themselves see in it a bitter renunciation of literature – of an art, they argue, that is male. More recently, Dorothy Mermin has described Goblin Market as an assertion of women's literary power. In imagining women as castrated and in that castration different from men, the reader of Goblin Market encounters the full implications of a male strategy that denies male fears by projecting them on to women. Perhaps this is why Goblin Market can be read, as Gilbert and Gubar do, as a renunciation of the literary tradition.