Analysis of “Uphill” by Christina Rossetti

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Analysis of "Uphill" by Christina Rossetti

"Uphill" by Christina Rossetti is an allegory about life and death. Rossetti is considered one of the finest religious poets of her time and her many spiritual beliefs are conveyed in her poem "Uphill". H.B. de Groot said, "Undeniably, her strong lyric gifts are often held in check by her moral and theological scruples" (Groot). The dialogue style Rossetti uses mimics the parables told by Jesus in The Bible. In "Overview of Christina (Georgina) Rossetti" one author stated that during her adult life, Rossetti turned down two marriage proposals, due to her strong religious convictions. Instead of marrying, she used her convictions to script eloquent poetry that reaffirms faith for the faithful and provides faith for the hopeless. Rossetti's use of metaphors, symbols, and biblical allusions in "Uphill" conveys the idea of life and death and represents the difficult journey to salvation and the promise of eternal life in heaven.

In "Uphill," Rossetti uses metaphors to invite the reader to draw comparisons between one's journey through life, death, and eternal rest. The first question and answer the speaker mentions is a metaphor to depict the road being traveled, conveying that it is difficult and long, much like life: "Does the road wind up-hill all the way?/Yes, to the very end" (Rossetti 1-2). In lines five and seven the speaker develops the metaphor of night and darkness to mean death: "But is there for the night a resting-place?/May not the darkness hide it from my face" (5/7)? The speaker seems doubtful and unsure about the process of death and provokes the speaker to ask questions about the after-life. Assurance of such a place is found in line eight when the inn is used as...