An Analysis of the Poem, Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers by Adrienne Rich

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Aunt Jennifer’s tigers are pictures that she is sewing into a tapestry. The tapestry could be one of those quilts that you can hang on the wall, or curtains.

The details that are associated with her hands are being terrified, but lying still, they flutter through the wool and they are weighed down with the weight of Uncle’s wedding band. They will also be, upon her death, will be still ringed with the ordeals that she has been mastered by.

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Her hands are terrified because they carry the weight of being a confined woman. I felt that this poem was a feminist poem and this evidence has been backed up with evidence from a website that I have visited concerning this poem. I went there to confirm my understanding of the feminist perspective to this poem.

The hands can express emotions and help to create works of art that may express the ideas of the person who creates them. She has the weight of a marriage that may have kept her from achieving her dreams. She may have been going to college and back in that time, women were expected to get their MRS degree, and she may have done just that, having children and resigning herself to the role of housewife. They are also terrified because she knows that she will die, her hands not knowing what they could have created if she had taken a different path in life. They are still ringed with the ordeals she was mastered by, she conformed to society’s stringent standards of what she should do with her life. Each ring could be children, housecleaning, wife, husband, mother, social gatherings, etc.

The tigers are clearly masculine. They are bright denizens in a world of green, they prance across the screen, they are not afraid, they are proud.

The panels are Aunt Jennifer’s subconscious yearnings and views on her life. They prance across the screen, which to me means that they are living life the way they please and they are enjoying it. Bright topaz denizens of a world of green, means that she enjoys her surroundings, green means spring, health and vitality, topaz is a jewel, she could be saying that maybe she is a diamond in the rough and that who she is, is worth way more than a housewife and mother. They do not fear the men beneath the tree, means that she has no fear of men, that women should revolt against the conformities that have been set for them by men and that they should do this without fear, go for your dreams, who cares about what they say about you.

They pace in sleek chivalric certainty, meaning that women should be able to hold their head high and actually maybe that she sees women as being equals and that they should be afforded the same accomodations as men, such as being able to obtain their dreams and being able to have a say when they should or even shouldn’t get married. Women should continue their struggle despite the adversity against them. The tigers in the panel will go on prancing, proud, and unafraid, this could mean that women will still go after what they want to accomplish in their lives, unafraid of some of the societal repercussions, that this could be the start of something if someone, even perhaps herself, could have taken the initiative. This, to me, could also mean what she may have wished she had done this in her lifetime and seeing other women do, and this also occured to me that maybe this could be some of the ideals that she may have instilled in her daughters or wished she have given to her daughters, if she had any.

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An Analysis of the Poem, Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers by Adrienne Rich. (2023, Feb 25). Retrieved from

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