Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers: Class 12 Questions and Answers Made Easy

Aunt Jennifer's Tigers is a poem by Adrienne Rich, which is prescribed for Class 12 English students in India. It is a beautiful and moving poem that explores themes of oppression, resilience, and the power of art.

This blog post will provide you with answers to all the important questions about the poem, including extra questions that may be asked in the CBSE 2023-24 board exams.

Ace your Class 12 English exam with this comprehensive guide to Flamingo Chapter 5 (Poem) Aunt Jennifer's Tigers!

aunt jennifer's tigers class 12 important questions answers

SubjectEnglish Language & Literature
Class12
BoardCBSE & State Boards
Chapter NameAunt Jennifer's Tigers
TypeImportant Questions and Answers
Session2023-24
Book NameFlamingo Poem 5
LiteraturePoem

"The real teacher is the student's curiosity"

-Thibaut

Aunt Jennifer's Tigers Class 12 Extra Questions & Answers

Q. No. 1) Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs):

i. It is clear that the speaker in Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers has an attitude of ______ towards her.

a. empathy

b. wonder

c. sympathy

d. gratitude

Ans. Option (c)

ii. Read the statements given below. Choose the option that accurately describes the given statements.

  • Statement I - The poem is a manifesto against the institution of marriage.
  • Statement II - Aunt Jennifer represents all women artists.
  • Statement III – The poem embodies an alternative for women to express their repressed desires through art.

a. Statement I is True, Statement II is False, and Statement III cannot be inferred.

b. Statements I and III are False, Statement II cannot be inferred.

c. Statements I and II are True, Statement III cannot be inferred.

d. Statement I is False, Statement II cannot be inferred, Statement III is True.

Ans. Option (d)

iii. Which of the following does NOT represent the contrast between Aunt Jennifer and the tigers?

a. uncertainty and confidence

b. terror and fearlessness

c. fiefdom and freedom

d. authority and autonomy

Ans. Option (c)

iv. Choose the option that does NOT reflect what the tigers represent in the poem:

a. Aunt Jennifer’s undying hopes

b. Aunt Jennifer’s failing marriage

c. Aunt Jennifer’s artistic merit

d. Aunt Jennifer’s frustrations

Ans. Option (b)

Q. No. 2) Multiple Choice Questions based on an extract

Aunt Jennifer's finger 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.

i. How would you describe Aunt Jennifer based on the above extract?

a. oppressed

b. malnourished

c. aging

d. diseased

Ans. Option (a)

ii. Uncle’s wedding band sits heavily on Aunt Jennifer’s hand because

a. it is an expensive and heavy ring.

b. she was married against her will.

c. she feels burdened in her marriage.

d. their relationship is lacking in love.

Ans. Option (c)

iii. Pick the option that displays the image that correctly corresponds to the type of task Aunt is engaged in.

aunt jennifer's tiger class 12 extra questions answers

a. Option (i)

b. Option (ii)

c. Option (iii)

d. Option (iv)

Ans. Option (b)

iv. Which of the following is an example of an alliteration?

a. finger fluttering through the wool

b. upon Aunt Jennifer’s hand

c. ivory needle hard to pull

d. massive weight of Uncle's wedding band

Ans. Option (a)

Q. No. 3) Multiple Choice Questions based on an extract

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 prancing, proud and unafraid.

i. Read the statement given below:

Aunt Jennifer’s plight is best explained by her hands, they hold both her freedom and the instrument of her imprisonment.

Choose the option that best explains the above statement, as per the extract.

a. Aunt Jennifer’s hands are terrified, but when she is dead, her tigers will roam free.

b. Aunt Jennifer knits her desires but is overpowered by the wedding ring she wears.

c. Aunt Jennifer’s tigers are proud and unafraid, but she is mastered by ringed ordeals.

d. Aunt Jennifer makes panels of tigers when she has time from her responsibilities.

Ans. Option (b)

ii. Which of the following CANNOT be inferred from the given extract?

a. Aunt Jennifer’s tigers will keep her alive in everyone’s memory.

b. Aunt Jennifer feels oppressed and constricted in her marriage.

c. Even in death, Aunt Jennifer cannot escape patriarchal subjugation.

d. Aunt Jennifer’s tigers prance as a lasting symbol of her desires.

Ans. Option (a)

iii. What makes the tigers “proud and unafraid”?

a. They embody the grandeur and supremacy of animals in the wild.

b. They symbolize authority and are ‘topaz denizens of green’.

c. They represent Aunt’s repressed desires for freedom and power.

d. They are a product of Aunt’s imagination and colonial experience.

Ans. Option (c)

iv. Choose the option that DOES NOT reflect the movement implied by ‘prancing’.

a. bounding

b. frolicking

c. strutting

d. shuffling

Ans. Option (d)

Q. No. 4)

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.

i. Why is it so hard for Aunt Jennifer to pull the ivory needle?

ii. Which poetic device has been used in line 1?

iii. What is 'uncle’s wedding band’?

iv. Why does the poet use ‘ massive weight’ and ‘sits heavily’ for the uncle's ring?

Ans. i. Because Aunt Jennifer’s fingers are Trembling. Aunt Jennifer is afraid of her husband/ Aunt Jennifer is under a state of mental suppression.

ii. Fingers fluttering - Alliteration

iii. The wedding ring.

iv. Because of uncle’s dominating/ terrifying nature.

Q. No. 5)

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 prancing, proud and unafraid.

i. Name the poem and the poet of the above stanza.

ii. What lies in store for the Aunt?

iii. Explain “ringed with ordeals”.

iv. Identify and name the poetic device used in the last line of the above stanza.

Ans. i. Poem- Aunt Jennifer’s Tiger, Poet- Adrienne Rich

ii. Would die as an oppressed and subdued woman / will remain caught in the ordeals of her marriage till her death

iii. surrounded by problems of her married life/the wedding ring symbolizes the weight of her marriage and ringed also means chained

iv. “prancing, proud”- alliteration.  

Q. No. 6) In the poem 'Aunt Jennifer's Tigers', why does the poet describe the tigers as 'bright topaz denizens of a world of green’?

Ans.

  • She describes the tigers in this manner to show them as strong characters who are not afraid to show themselves to the world.
  • She uses this description which has imagery to help readers paint a vivid picture of tigers that are clearly visible against a green background.
  • She describes the tigers this way to create a contrast later in the poem between the tigers and how the women of her time behave in a world of men.

Q. No. 7) In the poem Aunt Jennifer's Tigers, what is the contrast between the reality of Aunt's life and her imagination?

Ans.

  • Aunt is timid, nervous, and living a fearful existence/under male domination.
  • Embroiders tigers are bold, proud, fearless, and are prancing free/masters of their kingdom.

Q. No. 8) How can we say that marriage was a compromise for Aunt Jennifer? Support your response with two justifications.

Ans.

  • Couldn’t live the way she wanted to or do what she wanted to.
  • Burdened by responsibilities.
  • Oppressed by her husband.

Q. No. 9) How are Aunt Jennifer’s tigers different from her?

Ans.

  • Aunt is weak, meek, submissive, and scared of expressing her feelings openly. The aunt is bonded in matrimony and faces several restrictions.
  • The Tigers are strong, fearless, and confident. They are bold creatures and are scared of no one. On the other hand, the tigers move about freely.

Q. No. 10) 'It is only when we are fearless that we begin to create.’

Does this statement hold true in the case of the poem, Aunt Jennifer's Tigers? Support your stance with evidence from the text.

Ans. No, this statement does not hold true with respect to the poem.

Even though Aunt Jennifer was fearful of her husband, which is indicated by her 'fluttering hands' / was burdened by her marriage to him, which is indicated by the weight of her wedding band, she channeled that fear/burden into creating her art. Her fear did not stop her from creating her art.

Q. No. 11) How does the poet use the image of ‘fingers fluttering through the wool’ to highlight Aunt Jennifer’s victimization?

Ans.

  • She is burdened by the weight of her marriage/ gender codes she has to follow as a woman, and even holding wool firmly is a task.
  • Highlights the oppressed state of women.

Q. No. 12) Read the given quote. In your opinion, what silence does the poem ‘Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers’ break?

Every poem breaks a silence that had to be overcome. – Adrienne Rich

Ans. The poem "Aunt Jennifer's Tigers" by Adrienne Rich breaks the silence about the oppression of women in a patriarchal society. Through the character of Aunt Jennifer, Rich shows the impact that this oppression can have on women's lives. The poem is a reminder that we must all work to create a more equitable world for women.

Q. No. 13) Adrienne Rich chose to express her silent revolt through her poem, Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers, just as Aunt Jennifer did with her embroidery. Explain.

Ans.

  • Adrienne Rich, through her poem, criticizes the traditional institution of marriage, in her times, suggesting that it oppresses women. Similarly, Aunt Jennifer, a victim of an unhappy marriage, under a domineering husband, chooses embroidery to vent her angst.
  • Both use their creative outlet as a form of protest against societal expectations.

Q. No. 14) Would you say that the poem ends on a note of hope? Justify your opinion.

Ans. The third stanza of "Aunt Jennifer's Tigers" offers a glimmer of hope, suggesting that even in the face of oppression, women can find ways to express their strength and resilience.

The poem's final line, "The tigers in the panel that she made/Will go on prancing, proud and unafraid," is both hopeful and tragic. It suggests that even though Aunt Jennifer herself was unable to achieve freedom and empowerment, her tigers will continue to live on and inspire others.

Q. No. 15) How might the message of the poem, ‘Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers’ be different if the following last four lines were omitted?

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 prancing, proud and unafraid

Ans.

  • If the last four lines were omitted, the poem would have a more somber tone.
  • Without the image of the tigers continuing to prance, the poem would end on a note of despair, with Aunt Jennifer's hands still ringed with the ordeals she was mastered by.
  • The message of the poem would refer to the oppression and suffering of women, without any hope for liberation.

[By ending the poem on these lines, the author achieves a sense of hope and transcendence. The image of the tigers continuing to prance, proud and unafraid, suggests that there is a way to transcend the oppression and suffering of women, even if it is only through art. The poet suggests that art can provide a kind of liberation, even in the face of social and cultural constraints.]

Q. No. 16) ‘Their mother sighed.
Sophie watched her back stooped over the sink and wondered at the incongruity of the delicate bow which fastened her apron strings.’

The prose selection, Going Places includes this telling comment about Sophie’s mother.

In Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers, we are told that –

‘The massive weight of Uncle’s wedding band
Sits heavily upon Aunt Jennifer’s Hand.’

Imagine a conversation between Sophie’s mother and Aunt Jennifer. Create this exchange with reference to the two extracts given above.

You may begin the conversation like this …

Sophie’s mother: Your embroidery is so beautiful. Do you love tigers?

Ans.

Sophie's Mother: Your embroidery is so beautiful. Do you love tigers?

Aunt Jennifer: Thank you, dear. Yes, I do love tigers. They symbolize something I wish I could be - free and fearless, unlike me.

Sophie's Mother: I understand that feeling. My life revolves around the needs of my family. I spend my days tending to the household, just like that delicate bow on my apron, a superficial adornment to my servile role.

Aunt Jennifer: It's the same for me. The weight of my husband's wedding band is a constant reminder of the heavy burden I carry, and the control he exerts over me. My embroidery is my escape, a means to express my hidden desires and feelings.

Sophie's Mother: I know what you mean. I stay at home while the rest of the family enjoys life outside. We both have domineering husbands, and our voices go unheard in family matters.

Aunt Jennifer: Yes, it's as if we're trapped in this never-ending cycle, with no likelihood of change in our status.

In this conversation, Aunt Jennifer and Sophie's mother bond over their shared experiences of feeling burdened and constrained by their roles in their respective households, where their desires and voices are suppressed. Aunt Jennifer uses her art as a form of silent rebellion, while Sophie's mother finds solace in understanding Aunt Jennifer's struggles. Both women find common ground in the need for change, even though it seems unlikely in their current circumstances.

Q. No. 17) Read the given extract from an article published in The Independent:

“Turn your pain into art”: it’s a phrase most of us have heard before… The theory that achieving something great requires suffering dates back to ancient times… Pain, however, is less an artistic necessity and more a result of “contagion” – a term used for the spreading of a harmful idea or practice…In the context of the struggling artist, it allows mental illness to fester; to be glamourized and admired; even encouraged in the name of art.

i. Do you think Aunt Jennifer “turned her pain into art”? What kind of “contagion” might her pain be a result of?

ii. Evaluate Aunt Jennifer and her artistry in light of the above extract.

Ans. i. Yes, I think Aunt Jennifer "turned her pain into art." The tigers in her tapestry represent the freedom and strength that she longs for but cannot achieve in her own life. Through her art, she is able to express her inner strength and longing for freedom.

The "contagion" that Aunt Jennifer's pain is a result of is the oppression of women in a patriarchal society. Aunt Jennifer is trapped in a marriage that is dominated by her husband. She is unable to express her true self or achieve her full potential.

However, Aunt Jennifer is not simply a victim of her circumstances. She is also a survivor. Through her art, she is able to create a world where women are strong and powerful. The tigers in her tapestry represent the potential that she embodies, even though she is unable to fully realize it in her own life.

In light of the extract from The Independent, I believe that Aunt Jennifer's artistry is a powerful example of how art can be used to transform pain and suffering. Aunt Jennifer's tigers are a symbol of hope and resilience for women who are struggling to achieve their full potential in a patriarchal world.

Aunt Jennifer's artistry is also a reminder that pain and suffering are not necessary for the creation of great art. Aunt Jennifer's tigers are beautiful and powerful works of art, even though they were created by a woman who was in pain.

Q. No. 18) Imagine that Aunt Jennifer read the poem that Adrienne Rich wrote about

Every poem breaks a silence that had to be overcome. - Adrienne Rich.

After much contemplation, she decided to write a letter to her husband expressing her feelings and thoughts. Write the letter as Aunt Jennifer.

Ans. Dearest Husband,

I recently read a poem by Adrienne Rich called "Aunt Jennifer's Tigers." It is a poem about a woman who is trapped in a loveless marriage and unable to achieve her full potential. The woman in the poem creates tigers in her tapestry, which represent the freedom and strength that she longs for.

I read this poem and I saw myself in Aunt Jennifer. I am also trapped in a marriage that is dominated by you. I am unable to express my true self or achieve my full potential.

I know that you love me, but you do not understand me. You do not see the strength and creativity that lie within me. You only see me as your wife, your property.

I am writing this letter to you in the hope that you will finally see me for who I am. I am a woman with a voice, dreams, and aspirations. I am not just your wife.

I know that you may not understand this, but I need to be free. I need to be able to express myself fully and achieve my full potential.

I am not asking you to leave me. I am asking you to change. I am asking you to see me for who I am and to love me unconditionally.

If you cannot do that, then I will have to find a way to free myself. I will find a way to create my own tigers.

Love always,
Aunt Jennifer

Q. No. 19) Observe the following lines from two different poems.

(Aunt Jennifer's Tigers)

When Aunt is dead, her terrified hands will lie
Still ringed with ordeals she was mastered by.

(The Roadside Stand)

I can’t help owning the great relief it would be
To put these people at one stroke out of their pain.

There are many commonalities between the two poems. Imagine that you are interviewing Adrienne Rich and Robert Frost together. Ask them any two questions that would highlight two points of similarity between their poems, and create their responses to each.

You may begin this way:

Interviewer:

Rich:

Frost:

Ans. Interviewer: Thank you for joining us, Adrienne Rich and Robert Frost. My first question to both of you is --- What are the central themes of your poems?

Rich: My poem highlights the oppression that women face at the hands of men, particularly as wives to their husbands. Women's freedom and rights are a social issue.

Frost: Yes, my poem is also centered on a social issue. It talks about the oppression of the country folk. They remain poor because of the privileged city folk's ignorance.

Interviewer: Thank you for sharing. My next question is --- What solution do you both propose in your poems?

Rich: Well, I don't have a solution. I think women will die being oppressed. Men have been, and always will be, in power.

Frost: I agree. In my poem too, I state that the country folk would be at peace if they died. The city folk will always have the upper hand. I, like Adrienne, don't have any hope for change.

 Q. No. 20) The different portrayals of women in the texts 'Aunt Jennifer's Tigers', 'Going Places', 'Lost Spring', and 'My Mother at Sixty-six', offer insights into the experiences of women in society.

You have been asked to address your peers and share-

→ the ways these portrayals highlight the diversity of the female experience.

→ the importance of understanding each individual woman's challenges and experiences.

Compose this draft, with reference to any three of these prescribed texts listed above.

You may begin this way:

Good morning, everyone.

As I analyzed the allotted texts...

You may end this way.

To conclude, I’d like to say that ...

Ans. Good morning, everyone.

As I analyzed the allotted texts, I noticed that though each portrayal of women was unique, they all offered varied insights into the experiences of women in society.

To begin with, Aunt Jennifer was portrayed as a victim of patriarchy, living in a world where women were expected to conform to societal norms and expectations and was unable to attain the freedom and strength she desired, due to the limitations imposed upon her by society.

In contrast, Sophie was portrayed as ambitious and determined to break free from societal norms. She refused to be limited by her gender and sought to challenge the restrictions placed upon her. Sophie's mother, on the other hand, from a generation prior, had chosen to conform and sacrifice her individuality to societal expectations.

Similarly in "Lost Spring," the grandmother and daughter-in-law, in Firozabad, were portrayed as resilient in the face of poverty and the societal constraints of their caste. However, unlike Sophie’s and Aunt Jennifer’s need to find an outlet, they found ways to make the best of their situation, despite the limitations placed upon them.

When we analyze the portrayal of the aged mother, in "My Mother at Sixty-six,", she is presented as vulnerable and in need of protection. Sadly, it does make one wonder about the unaddressed vulnerability of Sophie’s mother and the grandmother in “Lost Spring”. A point worth considering is that Kamala Das’ mother’s acceptance of her circumstances comes across as a voluntary decision, whereas that of the women in “Lost Spring” is akin to resignation.

These portrayals of women offer valuable insights into the experiences of women in our society -from victimization to resilience in the face of poverty - and offer us important lessons about strength, vulnerability, and the need for empathy and respect.

To conclude, I’d like to say that as readers, we can learn from their experiences and strive towards a more equitable and just society. These characters, stress that it is important to recognize the complexities of each woman’s experiences and refrain from passing sweeping judgments as women are not a uniform group, but rather unique individuals.

Also Read:
Class 12 Important Questions and Answers
Class 12 Notes

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