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Subject Tigers's manipulation...
Posted by Sherry
Posted on Fri Nov 13 16:20:18 1998
From IP c549-14.svdcc.fju.edu.tw  

:To reach to the depth of a poem, to me, is like eagerly wanting a cup of hot cocoa in the South Pole.; Could this be a SIMILE? Well, close, I guess. That・s why I chose this poem. I・m sure there are many other poems better metaphorized or simile than this one, but I like this cup of hot cocoa I found in here. I like how it tastes. Perhaps this is the cup that brought me so much flavors and melted me away. Or maybe this is the cup that I・m a little bit more acquainted with its ingredient and its production than other deserts.
So now let me show you how I :drink;(whether sipping, devouring, smelling,) this poem in its every aspect.
Aunt Jennifer・s tigers prance across a screen,
Bright topaz denizens of a world of green.
They do not fear the men beneath the tree;
They pace in sleek chivalric certainty.
Here we see how powerful the tigers are, no wonder they prance with proud certainty. In the first line it tells us that those are the tigers the aunt had sew on a screen; but I feel that the tigers are the metaphor or simile to her husband or men (opposite to women). Notice that the tigers :prance;. From quite a long time ago, men have always had privileges in the society, which are the things forbidden to women.When one party begins to take hold of power, that party is sure to think themselves as better than the other party, becoming more and more arrogant, being negligent in others, and so on. Of course all this happens gradually, but in the end it always reaches to such an extreme as to war between the two parties. By the way, I think Aunt Jennifer is to blame only partly. If it wasn・t for Aunt Jennifer (or many women・s) concession, then is it possible that the tigers prance across a screen? The word :screen; is quite an interesting expression in here since its denotation means the door, which is the entrance and exit of a room. It also has another meaning, where you can project images on a blank surface. Imagine that the screen shows a picture of men dictating women, and women defenselessly obey every unreasonable mandatoryKWouldn・t it feel that the whole society is under the spell of this wrongful sin? On line two, the poet used :topaz; to describe the tigers. How precious and valuable these tigers are! Here the poet wrote: :Ka word of green.; At first thought, we may jungle; however, my personal opinion is that :green; is saying of women who are considered as the grass with its mud, and they・re to be treading on by the bright, shinning, and the valuable tigers. And on line three and four, especially the fourth line, is saying the men are very confident with everything they do, because they・re the one with power.
Aunt Jennifer・s fingers fluttering through her wool
Find even the ivory needle hard to pull.
The massive weight of Uncle・s wedding band
Sits heavily upon Aunt Jennifer・s hand.
In this stanza, we can sense the poet is expressing how hard it is to be a woman. Aunt Jennifer kept on sewing, but the burden she carries as being a woman is suffocating her. In :Even the ivory needle is hard to pull; perfectly expresses how dreadful she・s living under this marriage. The wedding ring didn・t bring Aunt Jennifer happiness; instead, it・s the chain that locks her up to more unwillingness. Now, I found something interesting in here. Aunt Jennifer is living in the hell (to say it exaggeratively), but she can still make out a wonderful artifact under this intolerable condition. Notice that she had wool and ivory needle with her, probably it shows that she/s living in a material extravagant life that lack much soul care but it may also suggest that she・s a fine sewer. I found that the poet used :Kfingers fluttering throughK;, to me it is saying that : fluttering : is not only a literal word, but also suggesting that her skills is so magnificent as to :flutter; through whatever she sews. However the marriage lock had secluded from developing her own career, and buried her talents under the shackles of housechores
When Aunt is dead, her terrified hands
Still ringed with ordeals she was mastered by.
The tigers in the panel that she made
Will go on prancing, proud and unafraid
Finally, auntie・s dreadful married life is over, supposedly everything would gone with the wind. But no, it is concerning of all women, even if the grandma died, her daughter will have to go into hell, and so her granddaughter, and her much later female offspring・s. Also, the line one and two suggest that even though auntie can be manipulated no more (physically), she still can・t leave the world in peace, for the husband・s and the social regulations imprisonment make her still captivated. The auntie is not entirely in peace, but her husband (let・s say all men at that time) still lives proudly, without fear of other・s societal moral judgements, without the jail that imprison them, without losing their physical, and especially, mental freedom.
After tasting this hot cup of cocoa, I・m starting to inquiry of its production. The poet herself had an awful marriage life. She finds it hard to reach a balance between being a writer and a housewife. It is still a difficulty that many women encounter today. I think that this poem had produced so much impact on me it・s because of its women self-awareness. Even though by the time the poet wrote this poem there was feminism movement marching on, but I feel that the poet couldn・t even escape from it, and it leads me to think that we till have a very long way to go.


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