Before you Read
1.What does the title of the poem suggest to you? Are you reminded of other poems on tigers?
Ans. The title of the poem suggests that Aunt Jennifer is being suppressed by her husband. She knits an image of a tiger that has a chivalric appearance. The tiger is fearless which is in contrast to Aunt Jennifer. Aunt Jennifer wants to become like her tiger. She is burdened by the family pressures. She even cannot express herself.
Think it out
Page no- 104
1.How do ‘denizens’ and ‘chivalric’ add to our understanding of the tiger’s attitude?
Ans. ‘Denizens’ refers to the inhabitants of a particular place and ‘chivalric’ refers to the one who is brave and honourable. The tigers are brave and honourable. They are not afraid of anyone. This is in contrast to the situation of Aunt Jennifer.
2.Why do you think Aunt Jennifer’s hands are ‘fluttering through her wool’?
Ans. Aunt Jennifer unlike the tigers is afraid of everything. She is afraid of her in-laws and is burdened of the duties and responsibilities. She wants to make images of tigers by her wool. But she finds it difficult to pull the ivory needle as a result of which her hands flutter through the wool. Even the engagement ring seems to be quite heavy.
3.What is suggested by the image ‘massive weight of Uncle’s wedding band’?
Ans. Aunt Jennifer is burdened of her duties and responsibilities. She is afraid of her in-laws. Aunt Jennifer finds it difficult to weave the tiger’s image as she couldn’t lift the ivory needle. She found the wedding ring to be much heavy. This shows that she has got no rights to express herself.
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4.Of what or of whom is Aunt Jennifer terrified within the third stanza?
Ans. Aunt Jennifer is terrified with her husband and her in-laws. She is being exploited and cannot express herself. She is over-burdened by the family pressures. Aunt Jennifer would continue to carry the burden even after she dies as the wedding ring would still remain
5.What are the ‘ordeals’ Aunt Jennifer is surrounded by, why is it significant that the poet uses the word ‘ringed’ in the poem?
Ans. Ordeals refers to some unpleasant experiences.
It is significant because Aunt Jennifer is over-burdened by family pressures. The wedding ring seems to be much heavy and she couldn’t bear its weight. Even if she is dead, she would be carrying the burden as the wedding ring would be there with her.
6.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?
Ans. Aunt Jennifer created tigers that stand in stark contrast to her character. The tigers are fearless and chivalric whereas Aunt Jennifer is fearful in nature. Aunt Jennifer is afraid of her in-laws. She wants to be like a tiger that would be self-confident and brave as well.
The poet is in against of the male-dominated society. She wants to suggest that women should become self-confident and fearless.
7.Interpret the symbols found in this poem.
Ans. There are various symbols found in the poem. Firstly, tigers are a symbol if bravery and courage. Those tigers symbolise the hidden desire of Aunt Jennifer. She wants to express herslf freely but she couldn’t do so due to the extensive family pressures. She is being exploited by her in-laws. Secondly, the wedding ring is another symbol. It is a symbol of oppression which the women would carry even after her death.
8.Do you sympathise with Aunt Jennifer? What is the attitude of the poet towards Aunt Jennifer?
Ans. Yes, I sympathise with Mrs. Jennifer. She is an example of those women who are oppressed in the same way by the male dominated society.
The poet wants the women to come forward and fight for their rights the same way a tiger does. This is the reason why the poet makes a comparison between the tiger and Mrs. Jennifer, who is over-burdened by the family pressures.