The Parallels Of Women Essay

1061 words - 5 pages

Women have come a long way from being allowed to speak only when spoken too, and virtually having no rights. Now women are the CEO’s of company’s and have all the same rights and their male counterparts. Sadly though in “Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers” and “Barbie Doll” there are two females who lack the freedom and power that many other women have today. Looking at the poems from a general standpoint, Aunt Jennifer and the “girlchild” (1), as she is called, share similarities. Both females are unhappy and living under someone else’s rule. At closer inspection the poems have different unique qualities such as the varying tones, and many symbols that bring them more life. The general consensus ...view middle of the document...

By doing this she receives “Consummation at last” (24).
The tigers that Aunt Jennifer is creating in the poem are representational of how she wants to be. The tigers do not fear their predator as they “pace in sleek chivalric certainty” (4). The confidence that these tigers possess, is something Aunt Jennifer longs for, but never gets. She instead immerses herself into her artwork, instead of going after what she truly wants. The last two lines of the poem circle back to the tigers and the reader see that Aunt Jennifer not only wants to be like her artwork, but she wants to live on after her death through the tigers. The tigers also symbolize a creature that does not allow it to be victimized by anyone else, unlike Aunt Jennifer, who is under the constant authority of her husband. Going from the vibrant images of tigers prancing across the screen in stanza one, to Aunt Jennifer’s “fluttering” (5) and “terrified” (9) fingers in stanza’s two and three really show the contrast between the Aunt Jennifer and her art. The tigers symbolize everything Aunt Jennifer wants to be.
The girl in “Barbie Doll” is described as playing with “GE stove, and Irons” (3) which represents all the things women are traditionally supposed to do. Right away the reader sees that in this poem woman have expectations given to them when they are very young. Stanza one also includes the girl wearing lipstick, which teaches both her and the reader that girls are meant to cover themselves up in order to look nice. This idea of covering up comes up again at the girl’s funeral when “the undertaker’s cosmetics [are] painted on” (20). It is at this point the girl, even though she is dead, is happy. She needed the approval of others to be happy. The author is full of complements for her in stanza two, but because “everyone saw a fat nose on thick legs” (11), she apologized for her looks. The girl is, unfortunately, an accurate representation of many girls today. She is...

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