Tiger in the
by Emma Jones
Euge Kenny, Juan Subirá,
Trini Torrendell & Jose Tasca
Born in 1979
Her father is Australian
Her mother is British but had emigrated
Emma studied at the universities of:
No one could say how the tiger got into the menagerie.
It was too flash, too blue,
too much like the painting of a tiger.
menagerie: collection of wild
animals kept in captivity for
Simile: the tiger is too unrealistic. It was too
brilliant to look like a dirty predator.
Alliteration: tiger is too fast and unnoticeable to be caught.
● Wild animal, a predator.
● Symbolizing human violence.
● The tiger is that person that on the
outside seems so beautiful, but in the
inside it’s a dangerous individual.
Representing the civilized society.
Meant to demonstrate how civilised
an individual is.
The tiger is stealthy
Stanzas 2 & 3
At night the bars of the cage and the stripes of the tiger
looked into each other so long
that when it was time for those eyes to rock shut
the bars were the lashes of the stripes
the stripes were the lashes of the bars
personification: the bars and the stripes
The bars of the cage merged with the
stripes of the tiger.
We cannot separate the bars and the
stripes, they are one.
The violence is locked away in a cage but comes
out during the night.
When we sleep, we lose our inhibitions.
Stanzas 4 & 5
and they walked together in their dreams so long
through the long colonnade
that shed its fretwork to the Indian main
that when the sun rose they’d gone and the tiger was
one clear orange eye that walked into the menagerie.
the tiger’s eye and the sun,
blend into one, as the bars
and the stripes had also
suggests our own self-congratulatory
vision of ourselves as being truly
civilised and just splendid
The shedding of the fretwork
might represent a more open,
though still obstructive barrier
that is gradually broken down.
the true inside emotions come out.
they’d gone: talks about
the animals that were
eaten by the tiger
they: the bars and the stripes
(humans and violence)
No one could say how the tiger got out in the menagerie.
It was too bright, too bare.
If the menagerie could, it would say 'tiger'.
Shows the helplessness of little animals and
their fear toward the ruthless predator.
Tiger has left the place of captivity.
The tiger is seen as a threat.
Raw, natural quality. The tiger is not trained, is uncivilized.
It cannot be control.
It can hide in the menagerie for a while,
but after a while the tiger will eventually
If the aviary could, it would lock its door.
Its heart began to beat in rows of rising birds
when the tiger came inside to wait.
Violence is always around, waiting to attack.
The tiger is waiting to eat the birds.
The birds, that are inferior and innocent
animals, are scared of the tiger. They fly up to
be out of its reach.
The birds could represent the upper class society that
tries to put violence far behind from them, but they
can't because evil resides everywhere.
The increase of the heartbeat
reflected in the beating wings of the
Stanzas of 2 or 3 lines long
No Rhyme Scheme
(contributes to the effect of this poem seeming wild and uncontrollable just like our
Enjambment from stanzas 2-5
(This is ten lines and it is pretty difficult to say this all in one without taking a breath. This
hurried pace emphasises how quickly the tiger or our violence can lash out)
No can be sure of how or when but the tiger had got into the menagerie. It was almost
like a painting of the tiger moved inside in a flash. The bars of the cage and the stripes
on the tiger were subjected to each other for so long that they seemed to have merged
at night. When the morning sun rose, “they” had disappeared. Only the orange blazing
eye of the tiger remained. When the tiger got into the menagerie, the animals would
have cried out “tiger” if they had the power of speech. The birds in the aviary would
have close up themselves inside if that had been possible. But as it is they flew up to
be out of the tiger’s reach.
by GAYNOR BORADE
Theme & Tone
Themes: the delusions of mankind, our true nature, violence, the power of nature, violence
Tone: judgy, disquieting, violent and menacing in the end.
The poem is judging others for not recognising their natures or trying to
hide it. The opening and closing stanzas of the poem seem to me to imply
that people should know where the tiger is coming and going from, but to
do that people have to acknowledge its existence in the first place.
The tiger is a metaphor for the suppressed violence of humans. It represents our
natural savagery and the violence we all have beneath our suits and ties.
The menagerie is a very civilised way to examine ourselves, thinking that we are able to
control our actions all the time. We view ourselves in a self-congratulatory way,
considering ourselves civilised, intelligent and forward thinking.
The writer here explains that violence overpowers all elements of our supposed civility.
It can exceed everything, no matter your manners or education or how civilized you
think you are.
Violence is infused within us, it’s part of our nature and it can show up at any time. But,
don't be ashamed of it because after all, we are all just animals with animal urges.