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|Chapter||6. Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers|
|Category||NCERT Solutions for Class 12|
The NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English are an excellent choice for students preparing for their board or any competitive exams. These solutions are made by expert teachers and faculties of English. Class 12 English Solutions, made by NCERTian, will help students understand the central theme of each chapter. They will strengthen your foundation in English and help you score good marks in the board examination. On this page, we have provided you with the Solutions of Flamingo Poetry Chapter 6 – Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers.
NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English Flamingo Chapter 6
Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers Solutions
Before You Read
Q1) What does the title of the poem suggest to you? Are you reminded of other poems on tigers?
Answer) The title, “Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers”, suggests that the poem is about Aunt Jennifer’s knitted tigers that, with their chivalric, ferocious, bright and carefree attitude, become an alternate world of her creation. The tigers are the only means of free expression in her life, which is otherwise burdened by fear and struggles of the married life.
“The Tiger” by William Blake”
“Tiger” by Alec Derwent Hope”
“Tiger Drinking at Forest Pool” by Ruth Padel”
(A model answer has been provided for students’ reference. It is strongly recommended that students prepare the answer on their own.)
Think It Out
Q1) How do ‘denizens’ and ‘chivalric’ add to our understanding of the tiger’s attitudes?
Answer) Like all beasts of prey, the tigers are the denizens of the forest. They live far away from human settlements. They are called ‘chivalric.’ This indicates the majestic and honourable position that they occupy in the world of animals. So, the use of the words ‘denizens’ and ‘chivalric’ adds to our understanding of the tiger’s attitudes.
Q2) Why do you think Aunt Jennifer’s hands are “fluttering” through her wool in the second stanza? Why is she finding the needle so hard to pull?
Answer) Aunt Jennifer worked with a piece of wool, stitching patterns into a tapestry. Her fingers fluttered to create the beautiful image of the tigers. She expressed her desires by creating the tigers. She found it difficult to express her feelings, repressed by the weight of marriage, gender roles, and a dominating society. “Uncle’s wedding band” is representative of the patriarchal society she lived in. The weight of the ring was not something she enjoyed as the band is described to sit ‘heavily’ on her hand and kept her from the only mode of expression she had, her needlepoint.
Q3) What is suggested by the image ‘massive weight of uncle’s wedding band’?
Answer) It suggests the weight of the harsh and tough experience of Aunt Jennifer’s married life. The image is quite suggestive. The wedding band is symbolic. It represents the unbreakable bond of marriage between the husband and the wife.
Q4) Why is Aunt Jennifer terrified in the third stanza?
Answer) In the Third stanza, the reader is told that “the tigers in the panel she made/Will go on prancing, proud and unafraid” even after Aunt Jennifer was dead. This showed her fear. The tigers represent her spirit and how she would like to live while her hands, folded even in death, represent the reality of her life.
Q5) What are the ‘ordeals’ Aunt Jennifer is surrounded by? Why is it significant that the” poet uses the word ‘ringed”! What are the different meanings of ‘ringed’ in the poem?
Answer) The poem addresses the experiences of marriage in the midst of constrictions. The word ‘ringed’ is significant. It suggests that the vicious grip or her unhappy married life is still holding her tightly. The word ‘ringed’ has been used in two ways. First is the conventional
use. Here ring is a symbol of the sacred bond of marriage. The other is the figurative use of ‘ringed’. It means encircled or surrounded.
Q6) Why do you think Aunt Jennifer created animals that are so different from her own character? What might the poet be suggesting, through this difference?
Answer) The tigers are ‘prancing’. They pace in ‘sleek chivalric certainty’. They ‘do not fear’ the men beneath the tree. Thus, they are symbols of strength, fierceness and beauty. Aunt Jennifer, on the other hand, is weak and terrified. Her hands are finding it difficult to pull through her wool. The massive weight of the wedding band sits heavily on her hand. Her terrified hands are still ringed by the ordeals of married life. The contrast heightens the intensity.
Q7) Interpret the symbols found in this poem.
Answer) Adrienne Rich’s ‘Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers, is rich in symbolism. ‘The massive weight of wedding band’ symbolises ordeals, hardships and worries of married life. ‘Terrified hands’, and ‘ringed with ordeals’ also indicate those unpleasant experiences that are still clinging to Aunt Jennifer physically and mentally. ,
Q8) Do you sympathise with Aunt Jennifer? What is the attitude of the speaker towards Aunt Jennifer?
Answer) Yes, we do sympathise with Aunt Jennifer. She has experienced hardships and ordeals during her married life. The attitude of the speaker towards Aunt Jennifer is equally sympathetic. The poet gives many suggestive images and symbols to present an old lady who has passed through painful experiences as well as unpleasant and terrifying periods during her married life.
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