Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers – Important Questions

When Aunt is dead, her terrified hands will lie
Still ringed with ordeals she was mastered by
The tigers in the panel that she made
Will go on prancing, proud and unafraid

1.         Who is the aunt mentioned here?
2.         Why is she “ringed with ordeals”?
3.         What is the difference between her and the tigers?
4.         Why has Aunt Jennifer created the tigers so different from her own character?
5.         Why are Aunt Jennifer’s hands terrified?
6.         Why did she make the tigers?
7.         What will happen to her tigers after her death?
8.         What is Aunt Jennifer’s death symbolic of?

Aunt Jennifer’s tigers prance across a screen,
Bright topaz denizens of a world of green
They do not fear the men beneath the tree,
They pace in sleek chivalric certainty

1.         How are Aunt Jennifer’s tigers described?
2.         Why are they described as denizens of a world of green?
3.         Why are they not afraid of the men?
4.         What are her tigers symbolic of?
5.         What does prancing tigers symbolize?
6.         What qualities of the ‘tigers’ are highlighted here?
7.         Explain; “They pace in sleek chivalric certainty”.

Aunt Jennifer’s fingers fluttering through her wool
Find even the ivory needle hard to pull.
The massive weight of Uncle’s wedding band
Sits heavily upon Aunt Jennifer’s hand.

1.         Why do Aunt Jennifer’s fingers flutter through her wool?
2.         Why does she find it hard to pull the ivory needle?
3.         Explain: ‘massive weight of Uncle’s wedding band’.
4.         How is Aunt Jennifer affected by the ‘weight of matrimony’?

1.         What are the difficulties that Aunt Jennifer faced in her life?
2.         How does Aunt Jennifer express her bitterness and anger against male dominance?
3.         What will happen to Aunt Jennifer’s tigers when she is dead?
4.        What is the weight that lies heavy on Aunt Jennifer’s hand? How is it associated with her husband?
5.         Why did Aunt Jennifer choose to embroider tigers on the panel?
6.         How do the words, ‘denizens’ and ‘chivalric’ add to our understanding of Aunt Jennifer’s tigers?
7.         Describe the tigers created by Aunt Jennifer?
8.         Do you sympathise with Aunt Jennifer in this poem? Give reasons in support to your answer?
9.         Explain "The tigers in the panel will go on prancing, proud and unafraid"?
10.     Why do you think Aunt Jennifer’s hands are fluttering through her wool? Why is she finding the needle so hard to pull?
11.       Interpret the symbols found in this poem.
12.       What does the title of the poem suggest to you?
13.       Explain the stark difference in the death of Aunt Jennifer and the tigers prancing.

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