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Adrienne Rich was an American essayist, poet, and radical feminist. In the second half of the 20th century, she became one of the most popular and influential poets. As a poet and theorist, she actively participated in the contemporary women's movement. Through her body of work, she conveyed a strong resistance to militarism and racism.


The theme of the poem "Aunt Jennifer's Tiger" refers to the problem of social dominance. The subject needs to feature the contentions, issues, and battles that a lady needs to look at in the male petty society. Aunt Jennifer is the main character of the poem. She is a symbol or representation of women all over the world who have been persecuted and oppressed by the patriarchal system. Through this poem, the poet expresses her concern for women.


Aunt Jennifer, the poem's protagonist, is embroidering Tigers on a piece of clothing with wool and needles, a symbol of bravery, self-assurance, and strength. These tigers have been described as having a golden yellow color and jumping and prancing with great confidence. Because they live in dense forests, these tigers are referred to as living in a green world. Because they are brave, fearless, and strong, the men standing under the tree do not frighten the Tigers.

Due to her marriage and experiences in a male-dominated society, Aunt Jennifer is traumatized and scarred. She is unable to thread the needle through the piece of cloth she was supposed to be stitching because of this, which is why her fingers and hands are fluttering in fear. Aunt Jennifer was unable to withstand the demands and burdens of married women's responsibilities. She felt constrained and compelled, and she was unable to freely express herself. Even though the protagonist may appear to be dead from the outside, this poem conveys the message that the Tigers within her not only help her survive but also thrive.

Explanation Line by Line

In the first line, Aunt Jennifer's Tigers leap and run across a panel or screen. It states that Aunt Jennifer is stitching something, but the readers aren't sure what it is. She has created tigers that move and jump all over. The tigers represent her suppressed desires to be brave, fearless, and free from oppression.

In the subsequent line, the Tigers are portrayed as occupants or tenants of thick green woods and are splendidly brilliant-hued. Aunt Jennifer is home to the Tigers. Because they consider themselves to be superior in their domain, tigers usually live their lives on their terms and do not fear anyone. This demonstrates Aunt Jennifer's strong desire to live her life as she sees fit in a society dominated by men.

The fact that Aunt Jennifer's tigers do not fear the men who are standing under the tree in the third line makes them a symbol of strength. These tigers are neither real nor alive. She drew pictures for them on a tapestry. In her art, Aunt Jennifer creates a new world of freedom despite being confined and exploited by a patriarchal society.

The Tigers move around with confidence, grace, and elegance in the fourth line. Her aspirations and desire to break free from the traumatic life she is leading are represented by the tigers. In this stanza, the poet makes the point that women must possess these characteristics in order to resist their male oppressors.

Aunt Jennifer uses wool to create beautiful images of tigers in the fifth line of the second stanza, but her fingers are fluttering because she is nervous and probably afraid of her father. She is so nervous and her fingers are trembling in the sixth line that she is unable to even thread an ivory needle through the tapestry. The Aunt is holding her wedding ring in the seventh line, and she finds that it weighs too much on her hand. This line suggests that she feels weighed down by the responsibilities of her marriage. The weight of the ring on Aunt Jennifer's finger in the eighth line is a metaphor for the difficulties Aunt Jennifer faces in her married life as a result of her husband's dominance. The poet says in this stanza that her aunt has always praised her husband, but that she now feels so crushed by her husband's power that the responsibilities of marriage become a burden for her. The poet states in the ninth line of the third stanza that even after her Aunt dies, she will still be traumatized. The poet states in the tenth line of the third stanza that even after her aunt Jennifer dies, she will always be subject to her husband's marital trials and oppressions.

In the 11th and the last line of the third refrain, the writer says that the Tigers made by Auntie Jennifer will stay everlasting inside her and they will constantly be pleased and daring, bouncing and moving with tastefulness and elegance.


In conclusion, this poem conveys a significant message about women's experiences in a society dominated by men and the negative effects on women's lives, particularly married women. The poet uses her imagination and skill to talk about a very important and important topic that still gets people talking today. The poem urges the women to break free of their chains and become brave and fearless like the Tigers to inspire courage.

Aunt Jennifer's Tigers


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