“Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers” and “Woodchucks” Essay

Published: 2021-09-10 22:15:10
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Category: Poetry

Type of paper: Essay

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The poems “Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers” by Adrienne Rich and “Woodchucks” by Maxine Kumin, both have metaphors about animals. In the poem “Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers”, the Tigers are active, beautiful, and brave. Aunt Jennifer’s life has been hard and unhappy. “The massive weight of Uncle’s wedding band…”( Rich 7). In the poem “Woodchucks”, the animal is symbolizing the level of tolerance that a person can have when dealing with a pestering situation. I, a lapsed pacifist fallen from grace puffed with Darwinian pieties for killing. ” (Kumin 15).
When someone gets to this level of violence, it means they had enough. I can truly identify with this poem. I never want others to see the angry side of me. The gender of the speaker in each of the poems is undefined although I got the impression that in “Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers”, the speaker is a young person or child. The speaker refers to her aunt as “Aunt Jennifer…” (Rich 5) instead of My Aunt Jennifer.
The lines of the poem are rhyming with a kind of melody, creating the impression of a younger speaker. In “Woodchucks”, I can hear the author speaking. Kumin uses the word I a few times in the poem. “I said…” (Kumin 13) and “I, lapsed…. ”(Kumin 15). The characters in the poems are different. In “Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers,” Aunt Jennifer is in an unhappy marriage where she feels trapped. Aunt Jennifer enjoys embroidering and reflecting in her art. “ The tigers in the panel that she made will go on prancing, proud and unafraid”(Rich 12).
In Woodchucks the character’s anger escalates until she is enraged and results to violence. “The food from our mouths, I said, righteously thrilling to the feel of the . 22,….. ”(Kumin 13). Although these two poems are different in tone and symbolism they both deal with real common conflicts. A person can become violent after dealing with a difficult situation for any length of time. The other common conflict deals with women who are in bad marriages and just sit quietly waiting for a way out –sometimes until death.

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