what is the theme of the poem Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers?

what is the theme of the poem Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers?

1 Answer

  1. This answer was edited.

    There are mainly two themes in the poem Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers:

    Evils of Patriarchal Society

    The first and the foremost theme of this poem is the evils of patriarchal society. In this poem, Aunt Jennifer is described as a victim of failed marriage. She has been married to someone who is controlling her life (The massive weight of Uncle’s wedding band Sits heavily upon Aunt Jennifer’s hand).

    She remains terrified. Her fingers keep fluttering like the wings of bird because of fear. While carving the tigers she cannot hold the needle properly.

    The poet describes wedding band as “Uncle’s wedding band” which means she has absolutely no control over her life. Even after death, the ring of her marriage will remain stick to her fingers. So, she is not free even after death. The poet is against this type of mentality and society.

    Woman Emancipation

    Second important theme of the poem Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers is Women Emancipation and Upliftment. The poet belongs to a time when the society was dominated by patriarchal thinking and women had begun protesting against this dominance.

    In the poem, the poet talks provides reasons why there is need of the upliftment of women. Uncle is described as a stern patriarch who controls the life of Aunt Jennifer.

    The only way of escaping is her art where she feels relieved. The poet is against this hellish life of women. She wants to uplift the women so that they may not remain dependent on men for food and shelter.

    Importance of Art

    The third theme of the poem is Art. We know that during the rise of feminism, many women writers come forward to raise their voice which was suppressed through ages in the male dominated society. The poet herself is one of them.

    In the poem, Aunt Jennifer is an artist who carves the tigers. These tigers are not like her. They are bold, fearless and chivalrous. They express the hidden desires and the bitterness (against marriage or male-dominated society) of Aunt Jennifer.

    Her art is the only place where she can escape to feel ease. For poet, women can only be uplifted if they use art to express themselves.

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