Tigers— symbolize untamed free spirit. In this haunting poem, Adrienne Rich uses symbolism to paint a picture of a scared, and lonely woman as she creates this tapestry of Tigers being hunted, in a colorful landscape, while she is pondering her relationship between her and her spouse. Because of this they believed that topaz was very powerful and protected faithful against harm. In addition, the verb prance' is also used symbolically in the poem, both in the first stanza of the poem to describe the tigers in Aunt Jennifer's screen, and in the final line of the poem to create a proud, strong image of the tigers; so fittingly symbolic of Aunt Jennifer's dreams and desires for herself. The tigers in the panel that she made Will go on prancing, proud and unafraid Glossary Prance — To bound, to walk with high, bouncing steps. The rhyme mimics the movement of the tigers.
The tigers are fearless creatures pacing elegantly and majestically. The ordeals faced by her in an oppressive marriage would continue to terrify her. The tigers which Aunt Jennifer creates are topaz in color, that is wine-red, yellowy orange, and live in a green world where their majestic movements express fearlessness. All her life she has been in love with the hope of telling the utter truth, and her command of language from the first has been shockingly powerful. Aunt Jennifer cannot do things freely. She cannot find it at home so she goes on journeys into her sewing. The massive weight of uncle's wedding band Sits heavily upon Aunt Jennifer's hand.
The next part shifts to Aunt Jennifer, who is stitching this vivid picture on a screen. She will not be free from fear until she dies. She makes precise and brightly coloured pictures like the sharp yellow tigers of the poem, pictured against a green background. She is quite literally mastered by her husband. When Aunt is dead, her terrified hands will lie Still ringed with ordeals she was mastered by. Characters face challenges and obstacles throughout their journey and eventually learn to overcome them through self-discovery.
As ivory involves the killing of elephants for their valuable tusks, it would seem that Jennifer may not care much for tigers in the wild or know much about their reality. However, a detailed reading reveals images and symbols that suggest a relation of oppression concerning Aunt Jennifer and her husband. For poet Adrienne Rich the personal becomes the political and this short poem, whilst not overtly political, hints at more radical work to come. She will be dominated by her husband. What is the attitude of the speaker towards her? Even after death, Aunt would carry her fear of her domineering husband as she would yet bear the burden of the wedding band on her finger. Exactly what is she afraid of that would spur her on so? Yet this is also a false world, as real tigers live out a battle for survival of the fittest, where the strongest dominate.
She is quiet, coward, and totally dependent on her husband. They walk in elegance and style displaying the spirit of courage, fearlessness, strength and confidence. There is a direct link between revolt and repression, between the individual and the social, between the personal and the political. The role of women in society and the language used by men for social and political gain go hand in hand. She lives a quiet and subdued life. The tigers embroidered by Aunt Jennifer are free inhabitants of the vibrant green forests, masters of their domain and movements.
The massive weight of Uncle's wedding band Sits heavily upon Aunt Jennifer's hand. Aunt Jennifer is also becoming weak. An ivory needle might be a symbol of past years, when women lived in much the same way as Aunt Jennifer. Art can bring a sense of inner peace and instil confidence, however fragile. From the titles given to the adults, it seems as if the speaker is a child.
Rather, the use of the ring by Rich is symbolic. Yellow or the bright topaz implies the sun and violent energy, while green reminds one of springtime and rebirth. Uncle seems to be the master who put Jennifer through sufferings and mastered her leaving her frightened. The tigers do not fear the men the aunt places under some trees in her tapestry. These troubles may be why Jennifer selected to use Ivory needles for her creations. This is suggested by the pacing of their movement in the last line of the first stanza as opposed the prancing movement in the first line of the same stanza. Aunt Jennifer is doing what she can to cope with an unhappy lifestyle and this melancholy is made apparent in the second stanza of the poem, which deals in ambiguous images of rapidity and heaviness to symbolize the need to escape from the stagnancy of her marriage.
Her life was not in vain, she created something out of nothing, something that will live on well after she is dead and buried. Rich, however, uses a resourceful image to reorganise these conventional themes in a new way and even hints, in the image of Aunt Jennifer weighed down by an oppressive marriage, at the feminism that would invade her later work. The poem therefore provides a negative picture of marriage. The tigers are literally prancing across the screen. However, Adrienne Rich seems to distance herself from the image of Aunt Jennifer by placing Aunt Jennifer in a separate generation from herself. Of course, the wedding ring is synonymous to the oppressive Uncle, but the use of wool symbolizes another aspect of the marriage between Uncle and Aunt Jennifer.
They are proud, active, fearless, determined and chivalric. The speaker tells us about her Aunt Jennifer's needlework tapestry, which features beautiful bright tigers prancing. Aunt Jennifer is so oppressed and terrified that she finds it hard to pull the needle. Rob burns in the car while the other are forced to stand and watch without being able to save him. Each world is the reverse of what it should be. Rhyme can be defined as the occurrence of similar or identical sounds at the ends of two or more words. What could possibly have terrified her hands? There are men sitting under the tree, but the tigers do not care for them.