How does the poem "Aunt Jennifer's Tigers" reflect the theme of the enduring triumph of women's work and values?

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The tigers that Aunt Jennifer embroiders "do not fear the men beneath the tree" but, instead, move about, free and empowered, feeling confident and certain of their power and independence. Aunt Jennifer, on the other hand, even finds it "hard to pull" the "ivory needle" through the cloth she embroiders, what with the "massive weight of Uncle's wedding band" on her finger. The ring itself begins to sound more like a shackle when the speaker looks ahead to Aunt Jennifer's eventual death:

When Aunt is dead, her terrified hands will lie
Still ringed with ordeals she was mastered by.

Thus, while Aunt Jennifer's embroidered tigers will "go on prancing, proud and unafraid," it seems that her life has been spent in a state of relative powerlessness against her apparently abusive husband. Nonetheless, the fact that Aunt Jennifer embroiders such sleek and proud animals, animals without fear, indicates that there is a part of her that is like this too, or at least a part of her that values these qualities. She is not defeated by her spouse; there is a part of her that he can never master or control, and when she dies, it seems, that is what the speaker will go on remembering: Aunt Jennifer's strength and resilience in the face of such oppression and personal struggle.

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Aunt Jennifer, though she is "mastered by" an abusive husband, finds an artistic outlet in her needlework. The embroidered tigers stride proudly and without fear across the screen she designed. Through Aunt Jennifer's art, Adrienne Rich suggests that women who are not able to live freely do triumph in some way because their imaginations cannot be captured or controlled. Aunt Jennifer is able to imagine and create a world where men are nothing to fear, and this artistic vision outlives her small, "terrified" hands.

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