Showing posts with label English. Show all posts
Showing posts with label English. Show all posts

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Class 11 - English - Hornbill - Ch. 3 - Discovering Tut: The Saga Continues

Understanding the text

Question 1.

Give reasons for the following.

  1. King Tut’s body has been subjected to repeated scrutiny.

    King Tutankhamun, also known as King Tut, is one of the most well-known pharaohs of ancient Egypt and his tomb was discovered in 1922 by archaeologist Howard Carter. His mummy and the treasures found in the tomb have been the subject of much study and scrutiny since then. The reasons for this include his historical significance as a powerful and influential ruler during a crucial period in ancient Egyptian history, the scientific advancements that have allowed scientists to use new methods to study his mummy and artifacts, the medical findings that can be obtained from the study of the mummy, the mystery surrounding his death and the public interest in understanding ancient Egyptian history.

  2. Howard Carter’s investigation was resented.

    Howard Carter’s investigation was resented because the mummy was dismembered in order to separate it from the golden coffin, which was seen as a disrespectful and intrusive method of studying the mummy, as it can cause damage to the remains and disrupt the preservation of the mummy. Moreover, it was focused on treasure hunting rather than prioritising to understand the past and its cultural importance.

  3. Carter had to chisel away the solidified resins to raise the king’s remains.

    When Howard Carter discovered the tomb of King Tutankhamun, the mummy of the king was still inside its golden coffin and was encased in a layer of solidified resin. Carter and his team had to chisel away the resin in order to raise the king's remains.
    (include the rest of this answer for long answer type)
    There are several reasons for this:

Preservation: The resin was used as a way to preserve the mummy and its associated grave goods. The resins were used to protect the mummy from decay and to seal the tomb from the elements, but also to protect it from grave robbers.

A ritual act: The use of resin was also a ritual act, it was considered as a way of preserving the mummy for eternity, and it was a way to show respect to the dead.

Access to the mummy: In order to study the mummy and the artifacts found in the tomb, Carter and his team needed to remove the resin. Without removing the resin, they would not have been able to access the mummy and the artifacts, and their understanding of the tomb and its contents would have been limited.

Removal of the mummy: The mummy was still inside the golden coffin, and the only way to remove it was to chisel away the resin. This process was not an easy one, it was a delicate process that required skilled workers, and it took several weeks to complete.

It is worth noting that this method of chiselling the resin away was commonly used in the early days of Egyptology, and it was not as well understood as it is today, the importance of preserving the mummy and its context. Today, archaeologists use non-destructive methods to study mummies, such as CT scans and X-rays, which allow for a detailed examination of the mummy without causing any damage.

  1. Tut’s body was buried along with gilded treasures.

    Tutankhamun, also known as King Tut, was buried along with gilded treasures for several reasons, including:

Burial customs: In ancient Egypt, it was common for pharaohs and other members of the elite to be buried with a wide variety of grave goods, including jewelry, weapons, clothing, and other items. These goods were believed to be necessary for the deceased in the afterlife, and they were often richly decorated with gold and other precious materials.

(include the following for long answer)

Wealth and status: Burying King Tut with gilded treasures was a way to demonstrate his wealth and status. The gold and other precious materials used to decorate the treasures were a symbol of his power and prestige, and they would have been seen as a way to ensure that he would continue to be powerful and prestigious in the afterlife.

Protection: The treasures were also believed to have protective power, both for the deceased and for the tomb. The treasures were believed to have magical powers that would protect the mummy and tomb from grave robbers and other dangers.

Rituals and beliefs: The ancient Egyptians believed that the deceased would need to use the objects in the afterlife, such as weapons to defend themselves, jewelry to adorn themselves, and so on. These objects were also believed to have the ability to connect the deceased with the gods, the gods were believed to be pleased by the gifts and would protect the deceased in return.

  1. The boy king changed his name from Tutankhaten to Tutankhamun.

    Tutankhamun was part of the 18th dynasty of Egypt, which was a time of significant religious changes in Egypt. The pharaoh Akhenaten, who was Tutankhamun's father, had introduced a new form of monotheism in which the god Aten was the only god to be worshipped. The name Tutankhaten, which means "the living image of Aten", reflected this religious belief. However, after Akhenaten's death, the traditional polytheistic religion was restored and the name Tutankhamun, which means "the living image of Amun", reflected this change.

Question 2. 

  1. List the deeds that led Ray Johnson to describe Akhenaten as “wacky”.

    Pharaoh Akhenaten, who ruled Egypt during the 18th dynasty, is known for his religious revolution, where he introduced a new form of monotheism in which the god Aten was the only god to be worshipped; this was a significant departure from the traditional polytheistic religion of Egypt, which had many gods and goddesses. He also built a new capital city, Akhetaten (now known as Amarna), in the desert to the east of Thebes, the traditional capital of Egypt. This move was also seen as a rejection of the traditional religious and political establishment. Akhenaten's reign also saw a significant change in the style of art, with a shift towards more realistic and naturalistic depictions of the human form, which was a departure from the traditional stylized figures seen in Egyptian art. He also suppressed the traditional gods and goddesses and the closure of their temples which caused a significant disruption to the religious and cultural life of the people.

  2. What were the results of the CT scan?

    In 2005, a CT scan was performed on the mummy of King Tutankhamun to determine the cause of his death and to learn more about his health. The results of the scan revealed that King Tut had several health problems, including a congenital disorder called Klippel-Feil syndrome, a broken leg, infections in his chest and brain, and evidence of malaria. The combination of these conditions would have made it difficult for him to walk and weakened his immune system, making him more vulnerable to other diseases. The CT scan did not provide a clear cause of death, but it helped to fill in the gaps in historical records and to understand the life and death of the boy king.

  3. List the advances in technology that have improved forensic analysis.

    Advances in technology have greatly improved forensic analysis by providing more accurate and efficient methods of identifying and analyzing evidence. Examples of technology that have improved forensic analysis include DNA analysis, fingerprint analysis, ballistics analysis, drug analysis, digital forensics, and facial recognition. These tools and techniques have helped investigators solve crimes and bring criminals to justice. As technology continues to evolve, new and more powerful tools will be developed to improve forensic analysis.

  4. Explain the statement, “King Tut is one of the first mummies to be scanned — in death, as in life...”

    King Tutankhamun, also known as King Tut, was an Egyptian pharaoh who ruled around 1332-1323 BC. He is famous for his tomb being discovered nearly intact by Howard Carter in 1922. He is considered one of the first mummies to be scanned, as in 2005 a CT scan was performed on his mummy to determine the cause of his death and to learn more about his health. This was significant because it was one of the first times that a mummy was scanned using this technology.

The statement "in death, as in life, moving regally ahead of his countrymen" means that King Tut's mummy was scanned ahead of other mummies in Egypt, just like how he was ahead of his peers during his lifetime as a pharaoh. The use of the phrase "moving regally" emphasizes that King Tut was a powerful and respected leader in life, and in death he continues to be of interest and importance, leading the way for others to be examined in the same way.

Talking about the text

Discuss the following in groups of two pairs, each pair in a group taking opposite points of view. 

  1. Scientific intervention is necessary to unearth buried mysteries.

    Scientific intervention, or the application of scientific methods and techniques, is often necessary to uncover and understand buried mysteries. This can include the use of tools such as radiocarbon dating, DNA analysis, and geological surveys to uncover and study ancient artifacts, fossils, and other physical evidence. Additionally, scientific models and simulations can be used to better understand and predict the behavior of complex systems, such as weather patterns and the movements of celestial bodies. By utilizing these and other scientific methods, researchers and scientists can gain a deeper understanding of the world around us, and uncover secrets that have been hidden for centuries.

  2. Advanced technology gives us conclusive evidence of past events.

    Advanced technology has greatly improved our ability to gather and analyze evidence of past events. For example, the development of radiocarbon dating has allowed scientists to accurately determine the age of ancient artifacts and fossils. DNA analysis has also been used to reconstruct the evolutionary history of different species, as well as to identify the remains of individuals from the past. Other technologies, such as satellite imagery, LIDAR and Ground-penetrating radar, have enabled us to map and study ancient landscapes and architectural sites that would have been difficult or impossible to study otherwise.

Additionally, the use of computer simulations and models can provide insight into past events and processes. For example, climate models can be used to reconstruct past climate patterns, and numerical simulations can be used to study the formation and evolution of the universe.

Overall, advanced technology has played a significant role in helping us to better understand the past and to provide conclusive evidence of past events. However, it is important to note that the interpretation of this evidence is still subject to human bias and error, and multiple lines of evidence and independent verifications are needed for a solid conclusion.

  1. Traditions, rituals and funerary practices must be respected.

    Traditions, rituals, and funerary practices are an important part of many cultures and communities, and they often reflect deeply held beliefs and values. It is important to respect these practices when studying or interacting with different cultures or communities, both as a matter of basic human respect and out of consideration for the feelings and beliefs of those who hold these practices sacred.

In terms of archaeology and other scientific research, it is important to be aware of and respectful of the funerary practices and rituals of different cultures. For example, when studying ancient burials, scientists should be mindful of the fact that these burials may be considered sacred or otherwise significant by the descendants of the people who were buried there. This means that scientists should take care to avoid disturbing or destroying these sites, and should work closely with members of the community to ensure that the research is conducted in a respectful and appropriate manner.

Similarly, when studying living cultures, it is important to be respectful of the traditions and rituals that are practiced by different communities. This includes being mindful of the fact that these practices may be considered sacred or private, and taking care to avoid interfering or disturbing them in any way.

Overall, it is important to remember that traditions, rituals, and funerary practices are an important and deeply meaningful part of many cultures and communities, and they should be respected as such.

  1. Knowledge about the past is useful to complete our knowledge of the world we live in.

    Knowledge about the past is crucial for understanding the world we live in today. By studying the past, we can gain insight into the cultural, social, economic, and political systems that have shaped our world. This knowledge can help us to better understand the present and make more informed decisions about the future.

For example, studying ancient cultures can provide valuable insight into the origins of human civilization and the development of technology, art, and social structures. This knowledge can help us to understand the cultural and historical context of the societies we live in today, as well as to appreciate the diversity and richness of human experience.

Additionally, the study of past climate, environmental conditions and the changes that took place over time, provide crucial information to understand the current and future changes and to adapt accordingly. This knowledge can be used to mitigate the effects of climate change and to preserve our planet's resources for future generations.

In archaeology and other scientific fields, the study of the past also enables us to develop a deeper understanding of the natural world, including the evolution of life on Earth, the formation and history of our planet and the solar system, and the laws of physics and chemistry that govern the universe.

In conclusion, knowledge about the past is essential for understanding the present and the future. It helps us to appreciate the complexity and richness of the world around us, and to make more informed decisions about how to live our lives and shape our societies.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Class X - First Flight- Poem - For Anne Gregory by William Butler Yeats


Poem - For Anne Gregory by William Butler Yeats

About the Poet

William Butler Yeats was an Irish poet and nationalist born in Dublin. His ideas and works were influenced by the religious and national turmoil in Ireland. He loved Irish folklore. He embraced metaphysical philosophy Folklore and mysticism dominated his thoughts and poetry. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923.

Central Idea of the Poem

Yeats is of the view that most people love others just because they attract them physically. The complexion of the skin and the colour of the hair are more important to us than the 'real' worth of a person. We rarely love people for themselves alone. Even the beautiful Anne Gregory is not liked or loved for her inner beauty or her rare qualities of head and heart but for her beautiful yellow hair. Shallow-minded people adore only physical beauty. We should look for spiritual beauty before falling in love with a lady. Physical beauty is just skin-deep. It is momentary. Unfortunately, most people are attracted by the colour of skin and hair. Only God can love a person for himself alone.

Summary of the Poem

1. Love for Yellow Hair: This poem of W.B. Yeats has been addressed to a young and beautiful lady named Anne Gregory. The physical charm of the young lady is irresistible. Her honey-coloured blonde hair falling on her ear easily attract the onlookers. The hair falling on the ears look like the ramparts or wide walls around a castle. However, it is difficult to say that a young man is thrown into despair and starts loving her only for 'herself alone'. The physical beauty of her hair is so irresistible that the lover doesn't even bother to know whether the young lady has internal beauty and possesses nobility of the soul.

2. Superficial Physical Appearance: Anne Gregory's response in the second stanza is quite expected. She wants to say that she can get hair dye of any kind or colour. It depends on her if she colours her hair brown, black or carrot colour. She explodes the myth of physical beauty. She asks why a young man should fall in love with her and sigh in despair only after seeing the colour of her hair. If at all, any young man shows his love for her, then, that love should be based on her merits She should be loved, not for her outward appearance but for her inner beauty or personality. Her character. personality and inner beauty must be the cause of attraction and not her yellow hair.

3. God's Ability to Look Inside: The poet resolves the conflict in the third stanza. The poet quotes a religious text to prove his point Men are men Humans will fall to physical attractions quite easily. It is quite possible for a young man to be attracted by the beauty of Anne Gregory's blonde hair. Only God has the ability to resist outwardly physical temptations Only God can judge a man or a woman by what he or she is or his or her merits Human beings, without God's strength, can't look beyond outward appearances and physical beauty.

Main Points of the Poem

  1. The poem is addressed to a young and beautiful lady named Anne Gregory.

  2. Her hair is honey-coloured or blonde

  3. Every young man loves Anne just because of her beautiful hair

  4. Her hair falling on her ears look like the ramparts surrounding a castle.

  5. The poet says that no one would love Anne Gregory for 'herself alone"

  6. No one cares for her inner beauty or the nobility of her soul.

  7. Her outward appearance and her yellow hair are the only causes for her attraction

  8. In the second stanza, the lady, Anne Gregory herself settles the issue.

  9. She says that she is free to choose what colour she uses to dye her hair 

  10. She can dye her hair brown or black or the colour of a carrot

  11. Any young man should fall in love with her only after judging her own merits.

  12. Her yellow hair or outwardly appearance should not make any young man to sigh for her in despair.

  13. She should be loved for 'herself alone'.

  14. In the last stanza, the poet resolves the issue.

  15. The poet quotes a religious text.

  16. It is beyond human beings not to be attracted by physical appearance or beauty.

  17. Human beings can be easily swayed by beautiful yellow hair or outwardly appearance.

  18. Only God has the ability to withstand the temptations of physical beauty.

  19. Men, without God's strength, simply can't look beyond physical appearances.


Thinking About the poem(page 141)

Question 1. 

What does the young man mean by "great honey-coloured/Ramparts at your ear?" Why does he say that young men are "thrown into despair" by them?


The "great honey-coloured ramparts" in the poem "For Anne Gregory" by William Butler Yeats refers to Anne's blonde hair. The metaphor of the ramparts suggests that her hair is striking and impressive, like the fortifications of a castle.

The color honey-colored is likely a reference to the golden and warm color of her hair and the use of the word "ramparts" emphasizes the striking visual impact of her hair. And as to why he says that young men are "thrown into despair" by them, the metaphor is a way of expressing how captivating and beautiful Anne's hair is and how it affects those who see it.


Question 2. 

What colour is the young woman's hair? What does she say she can change it to? Why would she want to do so?


The colour of the young woman's hair is golden. Her hair can be called 'blonde'. She says that she can change the colour of her hair according to her choice. She can dye the hair brown, black or carrot colour. She wants to show that outward appearances can easily be changed. A young man should not fall in love with her only after seeing her yellow hair or outward appearance. 

Question 3. 

Objects have qualities which make them desirable to others. Can you think of some objects (a car, a phone, a dress.....) and say what qualities make one object more desirable than another? Imagine you were trying to sell an object: what qualities would you emphasise? 


When comparing objects, different people may value different qualities, but some common ones that can make an object more desirable than another include:

  • A car: fuel efficiency, speed, luxury features, safety ratings, brand reputation

  • A phone: camera quality, battery life, processing power, storage capacity, design

  • A dress: fabric quality, style, fit, brand, durability

When trying to sell an object, the qualities that are emphasized would depend on the target market and what they value most. For example, if trying to sell a car to a consumer who values fuel efficiency, the salesperson would emphasize the car's fuel efficiency and its cost savings. If trying to sell a phone to a consumer who values photography, the salesperson would emphasize the phone's camera quality and the features it has for photography. If trying to sell a dress to a consumer who values style, the salesperson would emphasize the dress's design, the designer and the style that is in trend.

In general, the most desirable qualities of an object are those that are most useful, reliable, and aesthetically pleasing to the consumer, and that meet the consumer's needs.

A car is an easy way of personal transport. A phone is the easiest way of communication. Similarly, a dress can be used to make your personality more presentable before others. While selling an object, I will emphasize not only its appearance but also its inherent positive characteristics and features.

Question 4.

What about people? Do we love others because we like their qualities, whether physical or mental? Or is it possible to love someone "for themselves alone"? Are some people 'more lovable' than others? Discuss this question in pairs or in groups, considering points like the following:

  1. a parent or caregiver's love for a newborn baby, for a mentally or physically challenged child, for a clever child or a prodigy

  2. the public's love for a film star, a sportsperson, a politician, or a social worker. 

  3. your love for a friend, or brother or sister. 

  4. your love for a pet, and the pet's love for you.


It is possible to both love someone for their qualities, whether physical or mental, and to love someone "for themselves alone." People can be attracted to certain qualities in others, but ultimately it is the person as a whole that is loved.

A parent or caregiver's love for a newborn baby is often based on the unconditional love and bond that is formed from the moment the baby is born. This type of love is often independent of the baby's physical or mental characteristics and is based on the bond and responsibility of being a parent.

The public's love for a film star, sportsperson, politician, or social worker can be based on both their qualities and their actions. For example, a film star may be loved for their acting ability and good looks, while a social worker may be loved for their selfless actions and dedication to helping others.

Similarly, one's love for a friend, brother, or sister can be based on both their qualities and their actions, as well as the shared history and bond that exists between them.

As for a pet, the love for it can be based on their companionship, loyalty, and affection. The pet's love for its owner can also be based on these factors and the bond that is formed through care and attention.

It can be said that people can be "more lovable" in the sense that certain people may possess qualities that are more attractive to certain individuals. However, it is important to note that the concept of "lovability" is subjective and can vary from person to person.

Question 5.

You have perhaps concluded that people are not objects to be valued for their qualities or riches rather than for themselves. But elsewhere Yeats asks the question: How can we separate the dancer from the dance? Is it possible to separate the person himself or herself from how the person looks, sounds, walks and so on? Think of how you or a friend or member of your family has changed over the years. Has your relationship also changed? In what way?


It is true that people are not objects to be valued solely for their qualities or riches, but rather for themselves as individuals. However, it can be difficult to separate a person from their physical and mental characteristics, as these are integral parts of who they are.

In Yeats' poem, "How can we separate the dancer from the dance?" he is asking how we can separate the person from their actions and appearance. He is suggesting that it is difficult to love the person from how they look, sound, and walk, as these are all integral parts of their identity.

As people change over the years, their physical and mental characteristics change as well, and this can affect relationships. For example, as a person ages, their appearance may change and this can affect how others perceive them. Similarly, as a person's mental or physical health changes, their behavior and actions may change, which can affect how others interact with them.

It's important to remember that people are complex and multi-faceted, and that our relationship with them can change over time as we get to know them better and as they change. It's important to remember that one's worth is not based on their physical or mental characteristics but on their humanity, and that's what truly makes them valuable.

Friday, January 13, 2023

Class XII - English Core - Flamingo -Poem 5 - Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers

Poem Text

Aunt Jennifer's tigers prance across a screen,

Bright topaz denizens of a world of green.

They do not fear the men beneath the tree;

They pace in sleek chivalric certainty.

Aunt Jennifer's finger fluttering through her wool

Find even the ivory needle hard to pull.

The massive weight of Uncle's wedding band

Sits heavily upon Aunt Jennifer's hand.

When Aunt is dead, her terrified hands will lie

Still ringed with ordeals she was mastered by.

The tigers in the panel that she made

Will go on prancing, proud and unafraid.


The poem "Aunt Jennifer's Tigers" was written by American poet Adrienne Rich in 1951. It appeared in her first published book of poems, A Change of World. Told from the perspective of an anonymous speaker, the poem describes a woman, Aunt Jennifer, who crafts vibrant tapestry panels (depicting tigers) to escape-mentally, at least, her unhappy marriage. Written at a time when divorce was unacceptable, the poem criticises the traditional institution of marriage, suggesting that it oppresses women.

Aunt Jennifer creates a needlepoint that shows tigers leaping across the canvas. Bright and vibrant, like topaz gems, the tigers live within the green world of the canvas. They are not afraid of the men standing underneath the tree, also depicted in the image. The tigers walk with certainty, grace and courage.

Aunt Jennifer's fingers swiftly and delicately work the yarn, yet she finds it physically difficult to pull even a small needle made of ivory through the canvas. Her husband's wedding band feels huge and weighs down heavily on her hand.

When Aunt Jennifer dies one day, her frightened hands will finally be still. Yet they will still be marked by the difficulties that ruled over her while she was alive. Meanwhile, the tigers she created will continue to leap across her needlepoint without shame or fear.


'Aunt Jennifer's Tigers' by Adrienne Rich is a multi-layered poem that uses the images of sewn tigers to talk about the institution of marriage. The poet also explored the themes like Female Role in the Home, the Female Role in Marriage, Animals as Women and Nature, Patriarchal Power, Individual Freedoms, Political Issues, Art as escapism etc.


This poem is a vigorous protest against male chauvinism and patriarchy which want to marginalize woman in every front. This poem offers a clear statement against the traditional marriage living relationship where women take the secondary role. Like Aunt Jennifer, millions of women still are a life of deprivation and subjugation. So this poem belongs to the feminist literary genre.


The title, 'Aunt Jennifer's Tigers' is appropriate as it suggests that the poem is about Aunt Jennifer's knitted tigers. With their chivalrous, ferocious, bright and carefree attitude, she creates an alternate world for herself. These tigers are the only means of free expression in her life, which is otherwise burdened by fear and struggles of married life.

Form, Style and Literary Devices

It's a formal rhyming poem, an early example of Adrienne Rich's work. Through the short lines of the poem, the speaker embodies the struggle this woman is going through and juxtaposes it against the tigers that she's creating. Their power is contrasted against her own lack of power.

In three verses, the reader is left in no doubt that Aunt Jennifer has suffered over the years and is looking for a positive way to express her artistic talents before it's too late.

The tigers she creates will outlast her and become a symbol of freedom and independence.

Structure: The poem's structure hints at the parallel existence of freedom and fear. In the first stanza, we get a description of the tigers. In the next stanza, we find a picture of Jennifer's life. In the final stanza, Jennifer's life and the tigers' fearless movements interact. The final victory of the tigers outlives the death of the woman. The first 'stanza describes artistic freedom but the second stanza narrates patriarchal power The structural similarity between the two stanzas rather highlights the binary opposition between rebellion and repression. In the final stanza, repression and rebellion are seen together. It indicates that women can revolt if only they throw away the conventions represented by the wedding ring.

Tone: The poem's voice is distant, which is created by the third-person point of view. The third-person narrator, a third-person viewpoint and the older generation have made Aunt Jennifer more authentic. The choice of diction suggests the vigour of the animals and the lifelessness of Jennifer. The words 'prance', 'pace', 'denizen', 'bright', 'proud', unafraid', 'sleek, chivalric' are associated with tigers. However, negative words like 'massive weight, sits heavily. terrified hand', ringed', and 'ordeals' highlight the weak points of Jennifer's life. Moreover, in the case of tigers, we get references to strong verbs and active voices. On the contrary, in Jennifer's case, we get passive voices suggesting the passivity of her life. 

Poetic Devices

Rhyme Scheme

'Aunt Jennifer's Tigers' is a three-stanza poem separated into stanzas of four lines, known as quatrains. These quatrains follow a simple rhyme scheme of AABB, with the couplets changing end. sounds from stanza to stanza. While there is evidence of metrical patterns in 'Aunt Jennifer's Tigers,' it is not entirely consistent. There are sections of the poem in which Rich uses nearly perfect iambic pentameter and moments where she moves away from it and uses trochees instead.

It is a conventional rhyme scheme. However, Rich has brought the protest through this pattern. It seems that she has made the poem's structure conventional to highlight the conventionality of the protagonist's life and discuss about Critical appreciation of "Aunt Jennifer's Tigers".


It is quite important in this poem. It can be seen through the description of the tigers, their landscape, and Aunt Jennifer's hands.

Rich has used animal imagery to inject power and vigour into the vision of Jennifer, which she terribly misses in her personal life. Tigers are the popular symbols of power and rebellion. Rich's tigers signify the vital life force that conventional society hardly allows for women. The creator of the tigers, Jennifer, lives a life of fear, depression and submission. But her tigers are fiercely uncompromising. Here the animal imagery suggests violence and energy, which women aspire to acquire but painfully lack.


It is a simple and helpful technique There is a good example in the first stanza with the repetition of "They” at the start of lines three and four. 


It helps to create a feeling of rhythm and rhyme even if one does not exist. For example, "fluttering fingers" in stanza two and "prancing, proud" in stanza three.


Heavy wedding band: Symbolises oppression in an unhappy marriage; Tigers: Untamed free spirit. The central symbols of the poem are the tapestry tigers and the Uncle's wedding band. The tapestry tigers are not just individual artistic expressions, and they are politically inflected, engaged in patriarchal chivalry myths. The personal and the political again meet in the intimacy of Uncle's wedding band. By the physical intimacy of a wedding band and by the familial presence conferred by 'Uncle's wedding band’, Aunt Jennifer's Tigers specify the presence of patriarchal politics. The interplay between rebellion and repression has made the poem enjoyable. This poem underscores the theme of power and social status. Aunt Jennifer is assigned the role of an aunt. She has no independent identity. In the poem, her name is mentioned four times, and on every occasion, she is an aunt. This imposition has fragmented her role.


The weight of husband's wedding ring


Here a trembling and ‘mastered’ woman creates free and confident creatures in her artistic endeavours. Fluttering fingers produce something that has ‘certainty’.


This poem identifies the problems of women in society. The male-dominated society subordinates women. So they have nothing to do but continue the roles imposed on them by their male counterparts. Aunt Jennifer is the representative of these ill-fated women. Marriage as an institution does not support them. It instead ensures their eternal bondage. That's why the wedding ring is inseparable from Jennifer's life. The final stanza points to the contrast between the fearless tigers and the lifeless aunt. In fact, through this contrast, Rich is stressing the basic idea of feminism. According to feminism, women are deprived of equal status because of social strictures and repressions. The tigers are beyond these norms, but Jennifer is confined within them.


Aunt Jennifer is creating animals that are so different from her own character. She is perhaps working on a panel or a strip of woollen cloth. With an ivory needle, she is making the figure of tigers moving freely in the forest. They have bright yellow coats with stripes. They are fearless of the men standing under a tree. They are proud of their freedom and physical strength.

Aunt Jennifer is weak; therefore, her feeble fingers fail to pull even a light needle. She is creating mighty tigers on a panel, but her own married life has been an utter failure. Uncle has, perhaps, been much too severe and insensitive to her feelings. The tiger symbolises what she has missed in her married life. Someday, Aunt Jennifer will quit this world. She would be lowered into the grave. Her weak and terrified hand will still have the mark of her suffering. She will remain a slave in her grave. The tigers, however, created by her will go on playing merrily forever, proud and fearless.

Stanza Wise Explanation

Stanza One

Aunt Jennifer's tigers prance across a screen,

Bright topaz denizens of a world of green

They do not fear the men beneath the tree;

They pace in sleek chivalric certainty. 

In the first stanza of Aunt Jennifer's Tigers, the speaker begins by describing the movement of the tigers across the fabric canvas. They are prancing "across a screen" in a "world of green". The perfect rhymes give this poem a sing-song-like sound juxtaposed against the darker subject matter. It creates a haunting atmosphere that allows for easy contemplation of the problems of marriage. The speaker describes very clearly how the tigers do not "fear the men beneath the tree". They move without fear or trepidation. It should be noted that this is a state that the artist, Aunt Jennifer, does not know. She is not without fear as they are.

The animals are personified. Rich uses words like "chivalric" (an older term that connects to a certain respectful yet patronising treatment of women) to describe them. They are masculine, without worry, and "certain" in their actions. This makes it seem even less likely that Jennifer will find this same strength.

Stanza Two

Aunt Jennifer's finger fluttering through her wool 

Find even the ivory needle hard to pull

The massive weight of Uncle's wedding band

Sits heavily upon Aunt Jennifer's hand.

The speaker describes in the next stanza how quickly Jennifer's fingers move. They "flutter” through the movements but are without real strength. The word "flutter" evokes the image of birds' wings and gentle movements. Her hands find the "needle hard to pull". There is something weighing them down, a "wedding band". The ring that ties her to her husband keeps her from moving beyond who she is at that moment. It sits heavily on her hand, her mind, and her soul.

Stanza Three

When Aunt is dead, her terrified hands will lie 

Still ringed with ordeals she was mastered by.

The tigers in the panel that she made

Will go on prancing, proud and unafraid. 

The third stanza begins with a striking move into the future. The speaker looks towards the time in which Jennifer is going to die. These lines are enjambed, encouraging the reader to move smoothly and quickly through the stanza. She will stop eventually, as will the movement of her hands. But the ring will still be there. Even in death, she will in some ways be tied to her "ordeals".

As she struggles, suffers, and dies, the tigers will continue to prance proudly on her page. They, unlike her, are "unafraid".


The speaker describes the tigers the aunt produced by using coloured threads on heavy cloth. They are set in motion. They are moving quickly by raising their front legs and jumping forwards on their hind legs in the green jungle. They look bright yellow and as valuable as topazes which reveals her dream of a happier life in her needlework.

There are men sitting under the tree, but the tigers do not care for them. They move on to their goal boldly and smoothly. Jennifer finds it difficult to make pictures by using the ivory needle. She is tired of doing the household work after she got married. She can't get herself involved in her artistic work. She has to do it in her leisure time. Even then she has to be sure whether her husband is watching her or not. So her hands are terrified. She will not be free from fear until she dies. She will be dominated by her husband. She will die, but her art will express her desire to move proudly and fearlessly like the tigers she has made.

Aunt Jennifer's hands are 'terrified' because of the massive weight of household duties. They are heavily pressed. They have undergone severe trials. She is dominated by her husband continuously. 'Fingers fluttering, 'ordeals', 'mastered', 'hard to pull' indicate her fear. By mentioning that it is 'Uncle's wedding band', the poet suggests that Uncle owns Jennifer too and that as a female, she is the property of her husband. The word 'massive' and 'heavily Aunt Jennifer lives a demanding sort of life in which she has to attend to her husband's needs and fulfil his commands. As a result she is somewhat worn out in her old age. Aunt Jennifer is 'ringed', trapped in her marriage and controlled like an animal. Her husband is her master. Her wish to be like the tiger, proud and unafraid' also shows her fear in real life. Tigers are fierce, courageous and independent animals. They lead the life the way they want to. But Aunt Jennifer is just opposite to tigers. She is quiet, coward, and totally dependent on her husband. She leads her life the way her husband likes for her. So tigers are an appropriate contrast to her.

Aunt Jennifer has an artistic talent. If she used it properly, she will surely become a great artist. But she has misused her ability because of cowardice. She can't go against the established pattern in life. She is pressed by 'the massive weight of household work. Instead of pleasing herself, she tries to please her dominating husband. She lives a quiet and subdued life. But the tigers she imagined are just opposite to her. They are proud, active, fearless, determined and chivalric. They move toward their goals with single-mindedness.

The tigers in the poem represent Jennifer's innermost desire. She wants to be strong like the tigers that do not fear the men. Like the beautiful animals in the jungle, she wants to create precious pieces of art. Her life has been uncertain, helpless. Her husband is strong and fearless, but he is not chivalrous. So she finds courage, justice and honour in the smooth movement of the tigers. Thus the tiger stand for her unfulfilled wishes. She can't revolt against him on her own. In order to gain freedom she must be like her tigers that prance being proud and unafraid. The word 'chivalric suggests her inner wish that is, her husband should show bravery, honour, generosity, and good manners to her like the knights in the Middle Ages did. She would like to go forward towards her aim, like the determined tigers.