Aunt Jennifer 's Tigers, By Adrienne Rich Essay

1190 Words Apr 6th, 2016 5 Pages
The simple, singsongy poem of, “Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers,” by Adrienne Rich consists of

three stanzas of four lines each. Each stanza is made up of two couplets with a rhyme scheme

of aabb. This is a formal verse and not a free verse poem. Rich presents an example of feminist

poetry with dominance and emotional tensions of the 20th century where women found

themselves as insecure and afraid of the patriarchal social authorities. It is an autobiographical

poem that reflects the deepest corners of Adrienne Rich’s mind regarding her feminist feelings

in Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers. Aunt Jennifer represents women all over the world, particularly women

in America, who were caught under the oppressive hand of the patriarchal society, Adrienne

Rich was perhaps one of those women. This summarizes the most important theme in the

poem, which is a male-dominated society that leaves women with no choice but to marry and

be resigned to their fate along with silencing them in regards to their rights.

In stanza 1, the speaker who seems to have an Aunt named Jennifer, speaks to us in a

pretty familiar way. As if we know who Aunt Jennifer is. As the speaker describes the prancing

tigers, we think of them as happy and calm. The screen on which they prance across could be a

television screen. In a place illustrated as, “bright topaz denizens of a world of green” (I. 3).

Perhaps a rich green forest in which they roam freely, as one would expect of tigers in the wild.…

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