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aunt jennifer tigers
Aunt Jennifer's Tigers
By Adrienne Rich
Aunt Jennifer's tigers stride 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.
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.
When Aunt is dead, her terrified hands will lie
Still ringed with ordeals she was mastered by
The tigers in the panel that she made
Will go on striding, proud and unafraid.
The first stanza sets the setting for Aunt Jennifer's dream world for her and her tigers (Aunt Jennifer represents all women who are caught under the oppressive hand of a patriarchal society). Aunt Jennifer's tigers represent what women desired to be like during that time period. The tigers are do not fear men and as depicted on line four are heroic and conduct themselves in a manly fashion. These confidents tigers represent everything women desire to be.
The second stanza represents the reality of Aunt Jennifer's life. She is depicted doing needlepoint, which happens to be a very traditional activity for a woman. However, she is having trouble with this activity as expressed in line 7. Her inability to do this needlepoint represents her inability to express herself in a male dominated society. This weight that rests "heavily" on her hand is not something she enjoys and is oppressing her from doing what she really wants to.
The third stanza gives us a truthful look at the reality and end of Aunt Jennifer. It re-emphasizes the impact living in this patriarchal society had had on her. Despite the tragic end of Aunt Jennifer's life these tigers and the ideas of an oppressed free life for women carry on.
What does Rich say about this poem?
"I'm startled because beneath the conscious craft are glimpses of the split I even then experienced between the girl who wrote poems, who defined herself in writing poems, and the girl who was to define herself by her relationships with men" (632).
Rich says this poem is an example of a split that took place in her earlier writing. She has written in the oppressors (male) style however, has expressed feelings of a woman not writing for a purely male audience. Rich has gotten away with expressing these ideas because she wrote using the strategy of formalism that inevitably allowed her writing to sound the same as traditional male writing.
"I wanted women poets to be equals of men, and to be equal was still confused with sounding the same" (632).
What does she intend to illustrate? How does the poem illustrate this point/s?
I believe she meant to illustrate a narrative of a woman, Aunt Jennifer, under the oppression of a male. This is illustrated in the 2nd stanza when Rich describes Aunt Jennifer's hand as being too heavy to pull the needle through the wool because of the "massive weight of Uncle's wedding band" (7, 633). This "massive weight" is man's control over his wife and the wedding band is a symbol of his control. This idea is also supported in the third stanza when Rich describes Aunt Jennifer dead being still "ringed with the ordeals she was mastered by" (9-10, 633). Overall the poem illustrates oppression by stating in the first stanza what she really desires and then describing how she is oppressed and held back by the male in her life.
"For a poem to coalesce, for a character or an action to take shape, there has to be an imaginative transformation of reality which is no way passiveMoreover, if the imagination is to transcend and transform experience it has to question, to challenge, to conceive of alternatives, perhaps to the very life you are living at that moment. You have to be free to play around with the notion that day might be night, love might be hate, nothing can be too sacred for the imagination to turn into its opposite or to call experimentally by another name. For writing is renaming" (635).
How does the poem relate to the quotation at the top of the page?
The poem relates to the quote by transforming reality. She creates ... more
Find essay on Know What They Are Doing
Over 50 years ago a new sport was introduced. This sport was stock car racing. The organization that sponsors stock car racing is known as National Association of Stock Car Racing, NASCAR. The driver that is identifiable with NASCAR is definitely Dale Earnhardt. Over the years there have been many great stock car racers from Cale Yarborough to Richard Petty and Davy Allison, but no other name was better known than Dale Earnhardt. Whether on the track or in the crowds, there is no possible way a person can look without seeing a black number three or some other Earnhardt insignia. In first or last place, victory circle or behind the wall, the black GM Goodwrench Chevrolet could not be deprived of its respect. Who would have ever guessed that the legendary Dale Earnhardts life would be taken from him on the last lap of the biggest race of 2001?
Dale Earnhardt was born on April 29, 1952. He was raised in Kannapolis North Carolina. Dale started racing at age twelve and won his first race at age fifteen. After winning his first race Dale decided that this was what he wanted to do as a career. Dale dropped out of high school in the ninth grade. Dales parents did everything they could to try to keep him in school but they were unable to. Earnhardt would soon find out just how hard it would be on him and his future career though.
Dale Earnhardt came from a family of stock car racers. Dales father being a racer himself knew how hard it was to start racing. That is the main reason he tried to keep Dale from dropping out of high school to race. They even offered Dale a new car to keep him in high school. (1:72) Dale Earnhardts grandfather was also a racer. Dale was not very close to him though. In an interview Earnhardt said that he regretted not knowing his grandfather very well. Earnhardt also mentioned the fact that his actions as a kid were embarrassing to him now.(1:73)
Being one of the most dominant drivers on the track, Dale quickly earned the nickname the Intimidator. Dale won his first Winston Cup championship in 1980. After his first Winston Cup championship Dale went on to earn 6 more championships to tie Richard Petty with 7 victories. The nickname Intimidator fit Dale very well. He was known for causing wrecks to move himself up in the race. (1:73) After several complaints from other drivers, Dale was warned by NASCAR officials to clean up his act and drive more safe. No matter how many crashes Dale caused he was still friends with almost every other driver. Towards the end of his career Dale seemed to go backwards just as fast as he went forwards.(5:1) Dale Earnhardt always had bad luck at Daytona Super Speedway. Earnhardt dominated the 1990 Daytona 500, leading 299 out of 300 laps but cut a tire on the last lap to take himself out of the race. (1:72)
Dale got married at age seventeen. He married his high school sweetheart. They had a lot of problems in their marriage. With Earnhardt trying to get into racing and his wife trying to further her education they decided to get a divorce. Dale was twenty-four when they got divorced.(1:78) Dale remarried but that did not last long. His second wife could not handle being in the public eye. Dale decided to try getting married for the third time. This time he married a woman he met at a racetrack. Her name was Teresa. Through his three marriages Dale had three kids. Their names are Dale Jr., Kerry, and Kelly. The most well known of the three is Dale Jr. Dale Jr. is a Winston Cup racer too. He drives the number eight Budweiser car. Dale Jr. also won the 1998 NASCAR Busch Series championship.(5:1). Dale Sr. owned 3 racecars in Winston Cup. He owned Dale Jr.s car, Michael Waltrips car, and Steve Parks car. There was never one complaint about how Dale ran those cars. (6:1).
The last race of Dales life would come on February 18, 2001. Dale looked like he had a really good ... more
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