illustration of a car crash, a grave, empty liquor bottles, a basketball, and a young man crying

Tears of a Tiger

by Sharon M. Draper

Start Free Trial

In Tears of a Tiger, why does Ms. Blackwell find Macbeth's death inevitable and how does it compare to Andy's emotional state?

Quick answer:

Ms. Blackwell thinks that Macbeth's death was inevitable because he is "just about dead inside already." She points out that with just one little spark left, Macbeth is bound to die. While Macbeth's emotional state is wretched and depraved, Andy's emotional state is guilt-ridden, and his state therefore has more in common with Lady Macbeth's than with Macbeth's.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

We learn why Ms. Blackwell thinks that Macbeth's death was inevitable when she answers Marcus's question at the beginning of the chapter titled "'Macbeth Lesson in English Class." Marcus asks if Macbeth dies at the end, and Ms. Blackwell replies that on the inside, Macbeth is almost as good as dead thanks to the moral degeneration that he has undergone. She states that he has only "one little spark left," implying that the spark will soon be extinguished. Marcus adds a similar opinion, stating that Macbeth, having killed so many people, deserved to die.

Once could argue that Andy's emotional state has more in common with Lady Macbeth's than with Macbeth's. The chapter describes Macbeth as someone who has degenerated into a "wretched, depraved, corrupt murderer," and while Andy feels utterly wretched about what has happened, he cannot be described as depraved or corrupt.

Lady Macbeth, who was originally the one with the idea of killing the king, experiences dramatic guilt over her role in what happened and suffers a "rapid mental deterioration." This has a lot in common with what we know about Andy. Having made the choice to drive while drinking, he caused the car wreck which resulted in his best friend, Robbie, burning to death. The guilt that he feels is slowly taking over his life and eventually drives him to suicide. Although Lady Macbeth's death remains somewhat ambiguous, it is implied that she dies by suicide as well.

It seems that Ms. Blackwell would have done well to guide the conversation in a different direction, because Andy gets up and walks out of class, suggesting that the subject material has struck a chord in this young man who is already so wracked with guilt.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial