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Tears of A Tiger

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The Tiger Will Always Be Trapped
Titles of a book can portray an important message about the book or characters. One of the many meanings of Sharon M. Draper`s Tears of a Tiger is Andy`s depressing emotions. In the title the word “Tears” represents Andy`s feelings, and the word “Tiger” represents Andy. The title can also be portrayed as Andy feeling trapped in a cage like a tiger. The many emotions of Andy are how the title can be metaphorically interoperated.
When one thinks of a tiger, they normally think of a strong and courageous animal. On the other hand, Andy is the complete opposite. Andy is a weak and cowardice human being. During the novel, Monty shows Andy a picture he drew. In this picture there was a tiger and he had put tears on it. The tiger in this picture is metaphorically representing Andy. Monty said, “Well I drew a picture last week at school, and the teacher wanted to know why I put tears on my tiger. I told her he was sad. Like you get sometimes” (125). As seen from this quote, Monty knew how Andy actually felt. Everyone else in Hazelwood believed that Andy was doing well and improving. Andy was in great depression and only Monty knew that. After Andy committed suicide all of Andy`s pupils called him a coward for killing himself. On page 173, Gerald states, “You`re a coward and a sellout!”; Gerald had his own problems and thought Andy was selfish for killing himself. Although, these people did not know what Andy was going through, he had felt very guilty and was depressed all of the time.
Another meaning the title of Sharon M. Draper`s Tears of a Tiger can have is Andy`s feeling of being trapped in a “white man`s world”. Andy is just like the tiger, which is trapped in a cage in the zoo. One does not know how a tiger feels when it is trapped in a cage. One can only guess that the tiger is happy and satisfied living in a cage. Andy in this situation is just like the tiger. He is trapped and everyone guesses that he is ok and happy. Although, this is wrong, Andy is neither happy nor ok. Andy said, “Tigers have it rough these days. Instead of roamin` the jungle, hiding from hunters in three-piece loincloths, they are put in concrete cages with bars of steel” (163). Andy feels bad for the tigers and in a way is referring to himself being trapped. Andy realizes that he is not equal to the other white kids and is trapped being the black person he is. Just like on page 164 when he explains, “The tiger who might think he`s equal to all those tigers in the jungle that his mama told him about is quickly reminded to stay in his place. He soon learns that he`ll never get out of there” (164). As he just stated, Andy knows that he will never escape from his “cage” and he has to deal with being trapped.
The novel Tears of a Tiger written by Sharon M. Draper has a title, like most books, that has many meanings. The title can be portrayed in many different ways. One way the title can be viewed is that the title is representing Andy and his mixed and depressed emotions. The title is meaning more than the words “tears” and “tigers.” Behind these words there is a great meaning of what Andy had to experience.

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