CBSE Summary with NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English Flamingo Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers for revision. And also, for better performance in tests and exams. The poet, Adrienne Rich, in this poem, explains how the power of patriarchy controls women’s forms but not their minds. Below you can find a brief explanation of the poem and NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English Flamingo Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers.
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Let’s Summarize: Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers
(Also find NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English Flamingo Poem Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers given below).
Quick Overview: Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers
Adrienne Rich tells us about her Aunt Jennifer’s needlework, which has beautiful bright tigers prancing. The tigers are strong and have no fears. Aunt Jennifer, in contrast, is not so free. The poet tells us about the metaphorical weight of Aunt Jennifer’s wedding band, and implies that her marriage was unhappy and held her back from the life that she wanted to live. She mentions that even when Aunt Jennifer is dead, she will still wear the ring that symbolizes the marriage that trapped her. But, the tigers will keep prancing in her needlework, and Aunt Jennifer will be immortalized through her art.
Also Read: Poets and Pancakes Summary Class 12 English
Stanza-wise Explanation of the Poem
(All the italicized lines given below have been taken from Adrienne Rich’s poem, ‘Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers’. Also, find NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English Flamingo Poem Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers below.)
Aunt Jennifer units a panel of tigers jumping jerkily across a screen. The tigers are the inhabitants of the jungle and are fearless creatures pacing elegantly and majestically. The tigers in this context are symbolic of the spirit of freedom which is enjoyed only by the men folk. Women like Aunt Jennifer are never able to taste his freedom as they are victims of male chauvinism. The lines bring out the evils of patriarchy as evident in the blatant gender bias and discrimination against women.
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Feelings of implied slavery are brought out in the second stanza of the poem. Aunt Jennifer is so oppressed and so timid and terrified that she finds it hard to pull the ivory needle through the base cloth. How victimized and oppressed she feels is clear from the burden of the weight of the Uncle’s wedding band. She continues to dread him even in his absence.
Even death will fail to release her of the chains of her struggle which have dominated her and bound her during her lifetime. The tigers, representing the authority to male remain undeterred. Indifferent to the suppression of the women, the men, like the tigers, go on prancing menacingly and exhibiting their pride and fearlessness of any social or gender conflicts.
Poem Analysis: Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers
- Form (structure or pattern) of the poem – The poem has 12 lines divided in 3 Stanzas.
- Style (literary elements used by the poet) of the poem – The poem is written in a rhyme scheme of AA-BB-CC-DD-EE-FF, making it lyrical in nature.
- Tone (the poet’s or reader’s attitude towards the subject) of the poem – The tone appears to be positive and cheerful when the poet describes the tiger but it becomes sad and dull at times of describing aunt Jennifer.
(Also find NCERT Solutions For Class 12 English Flamingo Poem Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers below.)
- Alliteration – The occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words. From the poem:
- ‘Chivalric Certainty’
- ‘Fingers Fluttering’
- Prancing Proud’
- Metaphor – A figure of speech that directly refers to one thing by mentioning another. From the poem:
- ‘Bright Topaz Denizens’
- Personification – A literary tool where you assign the qualities of a person to something that isn’t human. From the poem:
- Hyperbole – Exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally. From the poem:
- ‘The massive weight of uncle’s wedding band’
NCERT Solutions Class 12 English Flamingo Poem Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers
How do ‘denizens’ and ‘chivalric’ add to our understanding of the tiger’s attitudes?
‘Denizens’ means inhabitants and ‘chivalric’ means gallant and fearless. Tigers are territorial by nature and take pleasure in being the masters of their domain. They are proud of their identity and position. The poet attributes similar traits of character and attitude to men who, like the tigers, love to be the masters of their domain. They do not like to relent.
Why do you think Aunt Jennifer’s hands are ‘fluttering through her wool’ in the second stanza? Why is she finding the needle so hard to pull?
Aunt Jennifer is victimized by the over-bearing nature of her husband and this presents the very image odf oppression. Even her art fails to provide an escape from the domination of her husband. Thus fear makes her hands flutter through the wool and she finds the needle hard to pull.
What is suggested by the image ‘massive weight of uncle’s wedding band’?
The image is symbolic of the oppression a woman faces in matrimony at the hands of a terrifying husband. She feels suppressed and trapped in the unbreakable bears of matrimony represented by the wedding band. She cannot liberate herself from the harshness and bondage of matrimony.
Of what or whom is Aunt Jennifer terrified in the third stanza?
Aunt Jennifer is terrified of her harsh, callous, unfeeling and domineering husband. whose wedding ring is still there in her finger. Aunt Jennifer’s fear of her husband outlasts her body and life. She is also afraid of the bondage that her marriage has turned out to be.
What are the ‘ordeals’ Aunt Jennifer is surrounded by? Why is it significant that the” poet uses the word ‘ringed”! What are the different meanings of ‘ringed’ in the poem?
Although Aunt Jennifer’s ordeals are not expressively mentioned in the poem, w can easily judge that she suffers from matrimonial oppression. Her personal liberty and spirit are constricted by her unfeeling and domineering husband. She is compelled to suffer her ordeals in silence.
Why do you think Aunt Jennifer created animals that are so different from her own character? What might the poet be suggesting, through this difference?
Aunt Jennifer herself is submissive and subdued and allows herself to be victimized by her terrifying husband, yet she has knitted tigers as her image for her spirit actually craves freedom. She has a hidden desire to be free and liberated like the tigers who are masters of their domain. By drawing out this difference and contrast in personality, the poet wants to highlight the spirit for freedom which is inherent in all human beings.
Interpret the symbols found in this poem.
‘Terrified hands’, and ‘ringed with ordeals’ indicate those unpleasant experiences that are still clinging to Aunt Jennifer physically and mentally whereas ‘The massive weight of wedding band’ symbolizes ordeals, hardships and worries of married life.
Do you sympathize with Aunt Jennifer? What is the attitude of the speaker towards Aunt Jennifer?
Aunt Jennifer indeed deserves our sympathy. Despite all efforts to get rid of gender bias, she still remains victimized by the male dominance and gender discrimination and gender discrimination prevailing in many societies of world of world. Even the speaker feels.
What are the meanings of the word ‘ringed’?
The image of the ring is very prominent in the poem and has several shades of meaning. Primarily, the ring refers to the wedding ring which permanently binds a husband and wife into matrimony. However, in Aunt Jennifer’s case it has proved to be burdensome, restrictive and oppressive. The ringed in the third stanza means surrounded or bound by. Together with master it invokes the image of a circus ring which aunt Jennifer’s married life has proved to be and where her husband is the master and she must carry out his orders and stay in constant fear of him. ‘Ringed’ also conveys the idea that Aunt Jennifer’s life and freedom and expression are curtailed.
How will Aunt Jennifer’s hands look when she is dead?
Even after Aunt Jennifer is dead, her hands will still look terrified. She had experienced a lot of hardships and troubles in the past. Their effect has left its print on her hands. The ordeals that crushed her married life had surrounded and cramped her fingers.
Conclusion: Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers
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Aunt Jennifer’s tigers is a feminist poem which is critical of the real world for terrifying and depressing aunt Jennifer who represents the entire feminine world. She thus creates an alternate world of freedom in her art. Even in this alternate world she fails to liberate herself from the male domination.
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