Aunt Jennifer’s tigers are brightly coloured dwellers of green forests. They are sure of the power and strength they possess. They are proud, confident, powerful and have no fear of men. They move with dignity, honour and confidence in an elegant manner. Aunt Jennifer is oppressed by her husband’s dominance over her and the compulsion of her domestic life. Her married life has been unhappy and this bond with her husband is an ordeal for her. Her movements are affected by her heavy wedding ring, the ordeals of her married life and her lack of confidence. A unt Jennifer is terrified of her husband. She is surrounded by the constraints of her married life. The hardships of her married life, that crushed her, are visible in her embroidery even after her death. She would die as an oppressed and subdued woman. She will remain caught in the ordeals of her marriage till her death. But the tigers in the panel which she made will go on prancing, proud and unafraid. The fearless tigers she created, an embodiment of everything she aspired to be—proud, fearless and free, will live on to immortality.
How do Aunt Jennifer’s tigers symbolically represent the conflict between her aspirations and the realities of her life? Aunt Jennifer was oppressed by her husband’s dominance over her and the compulsion of her domestic life. She feels herself as a slave. However, she aspired to be proud, fearless and free in her life. So she chose the figure of the tigers for her panel because tigers symbolise strength, confidence, fearlessness, freedom and power which she aspired for. This shows that she is submissive; she expresses herself through art and creativity.
How are Aunt Jennifer’s tigers different from her? Aunt Jennifer’s tigers are free, fearless, confident and proud whereas Aunt Jennifer is meek, submissive and indecisive.
How does Aunt Jennifer express her bitterness and anger against male dominance? Aunt Jennifer expresses her bitterness and anger against male dominance through her art/by knitting tigers on the panel which symbolise
freedom, strength and chivalry.