Aunt Jennifer's Tigers Questions and Answers
by Adrienne Rich

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What is the symbolic analysis of "Aunt Jennifer's Tigers"?

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Adrienne Rich uses several symbols in the poem "Aunt Jennifer's Tigers." The tigers, the men beneath the tree, the needle, the wedding band, and Aunt Jennifer's hands are all symbolic. Here is a brief explanation of each symbol.

The tigers represent Aunt Jennifer's creativity, her free spirit, and perhaps her desire to be powerful and unfettered. They are created by the Aunt's artistic imagination and skillful techniques, so they represent her talent. They wander proudly past the men without fearing them, showing the courage and independence the Aunt wishes she had.

The men represent a male-dominated society that the Aunt finds herself subjected to. As described later, she feels burdened by her role; she does not have the strength or power to walk with "certainty" before the men in her world.

The wedding band is the most important symbol in determining the meaning of the poem. The fact that the ring is described as "Uncle's" and not hers, that it has "massive weight," and that it "sits...

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