An Analysis of "Aunt Jennifer's Tigers".
It is difficult to depict a primary poetic technique within this poem. The reason being that, many devices are used to bring forth the message that Rich has embedded within it. However, symbolism is the most prominent. The poem is set in a traditional format, using simple rhyme and meter to give the reader a sense of formality. Adrienne Rich's "Aunt Jennifer's Tigers", depicts an audacious woman trapped within a timid and suppressed life. Marriage and the culture that supports it have effected the character in this poem greatly. Reality seems inescapable because of the ring that "sits heavily upon Aunt Jennifer's hand". The tapestry that Aunt Jennifer is creating in the poem, is very symbolic of her potential. When you picture a tiger, the words power, fluidity, nobility, and strength may accompany that image. Those same words accompany the hidden life of Aunt Jennifer.
The first stanza opens the poem with a truly bold image of tigers as "They pace in sleek chivalric certainty". The tigers obviously have a very significant symbolic purpose in this poem. They portray the fearlessness, assertion and power, that Aunt Jennifer displaces in order to lead her conventional life. The vibrant tapestry expresses Aunt Jennifer's hidden inner life very effectively. The art hints towards a potential carefree spirit dwelling within Aunt Jennifer. The tigers "do not fear the men beneath the tree", is very synecdotal in that it portrays the assertiveness that Aunt Jennifer must sublimate in order to uphold the expectations placed upon her. The tigers in the first stanza symbolize the bold personality that is discretely projected from .
inside Aunt Jennifer's smothering conventional shell. The tapestry is somewhat of a subtle rebellion towards the life she is leading. "The men beneath the tree", bring forward yet another .
aspect of this piece. Although the tigers do not fear these men, the fact is, the men drove the tigers up the tree.