Deborah Pope: On "Aunt Jennifer's Tigers

The fearful, gloomy woman waiting inside her darkening room for the emotional and meteorological devastation to hit could be Aunt Jennifer, who is similarly passive and terrified, overwhelmed by events that eclipsed her small strength. "Aunt Jennifer's Tigers" is, however, an even clearer statement of conflict in women, specifically between the impulse to freedom and imagination (her tapestry of prancing tigers) and the "massive weight" of gender roles and expectations, signified by "Uncle's wedding band." Although separated through the use of the third person and a different generation, neither Aunt Jennifer in her ignorance nor Rich as a poet recognizes the fundamental implications of the division between imagination and duty, power and passivity.

From A Separate Vision: Isolation in Contemporary Women’s Poetry. Copyright © 1984 by Louisiana State University Press.

Details

Criticism Overview
Title Deborah Pope: On "Aunt Jennifer's Tigers Type of Content Criticism
Criticism Author Deborah Pope Criticism Target Adrienne Rich
Criticism Type Poet Originally Posted 19 Oct 2014
Publication Status Excerpted Criticism Publication A Separate Vision: Isolation in Contemporary Women’s Poetry
Printer Friendly PDF Version
Contexts No Data Tags imagination, duty, Power, passivity, women, conflict in women, impulse to freedom, gender roles, generation

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