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Word Count: 1,058
The mid twentieth century American poet Adrienne Rich was a product of a conservative Southern family Richs poem Aunt Jennifers Tigers clearly reflects this gender struggle for it is evident that it is a feminist poem in which the poet criticizes the male-dominated world for frightening and oppressing Aunt Jennifer leaving her no alternative but to create an alternate world of freedom for herself with her sewing The main theme of Aunt Jennifers Tigers is to reveal the hidden vibrant inner life of Aunt Jennifer as expressed in the content and theme of her tapestry in sharp contrast to the outer image of the terrified trapped woman she seems to be due to the social and cultural expectations and demands of her time With the use of similes symbols meter structure rhyme connotation Rich created her poem Aunt Jennifers Tigers Adrienne Rich uses a number of similes and symbols in the poem to convey her theme The tigers of course symbolize the freedom of spirit which she dreams of attaining but never achieves except in her dreams and her art Aunt Jennifer is symbolic of women as a whole rather than one individual However Adrienne Rich seems to distance herself from the image of Aunt Jennifer by placing Aunt Jennifer in a separate generation from herself In addition the verb prance is also used symbolically in the poem both in the first stanza of the poem to describe the tigers in Aunt Jennifers screen and in the final line of the poem to create a proud strong image of the tigers so fittingly symbolic of Aunt Jennifers dreams and desires for herself In terms of the meter structure and rhyme of the poem Aunt Jennifers Tigers Adrienne Rich utilizes quatrains consisting of couplets for a total of six sentences in twelve lines The rhyme scheme in the poem is very basic AABB CCDD EEFF and the rhythm in the
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