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Analysis and comments on Aunt Jennifer's Tigers by Adrienne Rich

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Comment 11 of 131, added on December 20th, 2005 at 2:29 AM.

Aunt jeni is a spokesperson to the woman of the entire world. Her tigers
not only represent her free will but there is a message in the depiction of
the Tigers i.e the women should be as brave and courageous as tigers in the
jungal.They should not be exploited by paterarchal social order.They are
not slave to men but they as free as men are.

farhat usman from Pakistan
Comment 10 of 131, added on December 18th, 2005 at 10:00 AM.

adrienne rich raises her concern against patriarchy by emphasizing the
weight of man's control in a matrimony.the power that society allocates to
a man,isnot allocatede to a woman.rich simply describes the dominance of
patriarchy in the society.

srinivasan from India
Comment 9 of 131, added on September 22nd, 2005 at 1:35 PM.

Basically, Aunt Jens attitude towards marriage may just be the influence of
her culture and tradition where it is expected of the woman to become a
housewife. However even willing to become one successfully, she finds
herself caught up in an enduring struggle of how she can acomplish this.

S from Netherlands
Comment 8 of 131, added on May 31st, 2005 at 2:51 AM.

Another point that most of us seems to have missed is that the
tiger's-which on the one hand embody aunt jennifer's free spirit as opposed
to her body being 'mastered by ordeal', on the other it also show's her
thwarted sense of freedom. Tiger's are particularly described as moving in
'chivalric certainity' and that has male patriarchal connotations. Her
rebellion reflects her repression in that she expresses it, ironically, in
the language of the oppressor. Moreover, the 'men under the tree' and
tigers prancing in a 'world of green' reek heavily of colonialism- another
form of oppression- Buddha as the man under the tree and tigers both are
allusions to Imperialism in india. Besides aunt jennifer working with
'ivory needles' also has imperialistic connotations- this time reminding
one of the spoils of africa.

xarak from Algeria
Comment 7 of 131, added on June 6th, 2005 at 2:27 PM.

Feminism aside, you are all missing a crucial clue which opens up the
entire poem: the allusion to Ovid's story of Philomela.

A from United States
Comment 6 of 131, added on April 29th, 2005 at 12:45 AM.

This work tells of "Aunt Jennifer", who is the symbol of feminism in this
particular poem. This poem offers an image of power revealed and
restrained by domestic arts. This is shown in the case that she is
restrained by her husband's wedding band, thus revealing that she Aunt
Jennifer was expected to be a devoted and domesticated wife. Aunt Jennifer
living her part in a man's world is forcing her into a role that she does
not fit naturally.
1.Introduction of the tigers, how they are prancing across a screen--this
is symbolizing Aunt Jennifer, roaming in a world freely; although it is
telling of a screen she crafted.
2.The tigers are bright topaz denizens because they are different in the
world, and are not just plain, (green), like everyone else. This
symbolizes Aunt Jennifer's individual thinking, and how she is different.
3.The tigers don't fear the men beneath the tree because Aunt Jennifer did
not fear men at first and was living as an independent individual with her
own mind.
4.The tigers are slowly walking elegantly, showing that they are confident
and 'chivalric' (gentlemanly)---this may show that Aunt Jennifer knows she
is fine without having to be married.
5.This line is telling of Aunt Jen's fingers 'fluttering' through her
wool--this is just an allusion using an activity she likes to do, to tell
of how she was roaming freely and happily before marriage.
6.The ivory needle is a symbol for how hard it is to keep yourself
independent and essentially a free-thinker when you are married.
7.Uncle's wedding band on her finger is massive because he is strict
towards how she should be a domesticated wife and not a free soul.
8.It "sits heavily upon her hand" because her marriage has taken a toll on
her, and she can feel it heavily on her heart and soul.
9.When Aunt Jen dies, she will die as a lonely and depressed woman, and her
hands are terrified because they never got to be free again.
10.Jen's hands stand as a symbol of her body, in that she was tired and
sick from the ordeals (being a housewife) that she was mastered by [her
husband--making her act this way]
11-12.The tigers are a symbol of what will be left of Aunt Jen's existence
after her death, in that she never got to "prance" as proud and unafraid
when she was married and was constrained by what women were expected

Holly from United States
Comment 5 of 131, added on April 10th, 2005 at 8:43 PM.

I Think that "Aunt JEnnifer's fingers fluttering through her wool find even
he ivory needle hard to pull" show another example of how she is trying to
be artistic but she's struggling. "the MASSIVE weight of Uncle's wedding
band sits HEAVILY..." when Ric uses these adjectives it gives the idea that
Aunt Jennifer's marriage is weighing her down artistically.

holly from United States
Comment 4 of 131, added on March 1st, 2005 at 9:41 AM.

"The massive weight of Uncle's wedding ring" and "Still ringed with ordeals
she was mastered by"... I think these passages suggest that marriage can be
constricting, not just for her, but any woman. She was alive and free to
be herself in her artwork, but not in real life.

Ilianna from United States
Comment 3 of 131, added on January 13th, 2005 at 12:26 PM.

Man, this song is really just about Tigers, literally. I don't think it's
any kind of weird metaphor. She just liked tigers!

K from United States
Comment 2 of 131, added on November 22nd, 2004 at 5:32 PM.

Aunt Jennifer's art is her mode of expressing her true feelings. Being
married to a man is a constriction on her freedoms. Living her part in a
man's world is forcing her into a role that she does not fill naturally.
Her nature is that of a free spirit, as the tigers are. Free to roam with a
grace that she cannot possess under the powers of a man.

Cheryl from United States

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Information about Aunt Jennifer's Tigers

Poet: Adrienne Rich
Poem: Aunt Jennifer's Tigers
Year: 1951
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 1120 times


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