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Aunt Jennifer's Tigers

Aunt Jennifer's Tigers

by Adrienne Rich

Immortality Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

When Aunt is dead, her terrified hands will lie
Still ringed with ordeals she was mastered by. (9-10)

Here, the speaker imagines that Aunt J is dead, even though she's actually still alive. (Creepy, right?) She imagines that, even in death, Aunt J will be terrified; it's like there's no way for her to escape the ordeals and horrors of her life. (Double creepy.)

Quote #2

The tigers in the panel that she made
Will go on prancing, proud and unafraid. (11-12)

Even though the speaker imagines that her aunt is dead, she imagines that the tigers will still be "prancing." Aunt J is forever terrified, and the tigers are forever "prancing"—active, upbeat, even joyful! A good deal for the tigers, anyway. Still, Aunt J may die, but her creations will remain after her death. They'll be "proud and unafraid"—and they'll live forever in art.

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