Aunt Jennifer's Tigers

Topics: Color, Poetry, Family Pages: 2 (400 words) Published: November 13, 2006
In many cases it is difficult to decipher or interpret what an author is trying to convey in his or her writing. At first glance, one might assume that Adrienne Rich's poem, "Aunt Jennifer's Tigers," is about an old feeble woman, who is depressed about her husband's death. So, she creates something beautiful to replace him. However, in a more in-depth reading you see a woman suppressed by her husband. Aunt Jennifer doesn't create this beautiful panel with tigers so brave and enduring, because she misses her husband. Aunt Jennifer makes this panel because she wishes she could be as brave as these imaginary tigers, thus creating an imaginary world vs. reality concept.

While Aunt Jennifer is knitting these tigers in this panel, the author emphases on colors. Such as "topaz denizens of a world of green," (2) or "the ivory needle." (6) Aunt Jennifer is seemingly creating this world filled of color and warmth, because in reality her colors are so black and white. The only thing that does bring color to her life is this panel, or just knitting in general.

The word choice that Rich showed also had a great effect on this poem. Rich describes the tigers as "prancing along the screen,"(1) which gives you a picture of playful tigers. However Rich goes on to describe "the massive weight of Uncles wedding band, Sits heavily upon Aunt Jennifer's hand."(7-8) Now that gives off this sudden stop in the poem. It went from one stanza being very happy to just gloomy and painful. Rich also wrote "When Aunt is dead, her terrified hands will lie. Still ringed with ordeals she was mastered by." (9-10) Now to be ringed portrays that Aunt Jennifer was probably nothing to her husband. To die with terrified hands almost make it seem that she would not be looking forward to meeting her husband in the after-life.

There are many ways to interpret a poem or reading. However the word choice that Rich displayed in this poem makes it evident that Aunt Jennifer was not...
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