This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Tiger's Wife Essay

1861 words - 8 pages

Tea Obreht’s “The Tiger’s Wife” is a hybrid combination of both the fantastical and the real. By engaging with the various genres of the fairy tale, fable and realism, Obreht’s work extends the notions of genre in fiction, to a hyper-realistic portrayal of the Balkan Wars. When considering the two key tales in Obreht’s work, that of the “Deathless Man” and “The Tiger and the Tiger’s Wife” Obreht reveals a fantastical world immersed in Yugoslavian myth and ancient superstition. In contrast, there are elements in “The Tiger’s Wife” such as the protagonist Natalia and her grandfather’s relationship and work in medicine which add a realistic dimension to “The Tiger’s Wife” as well as an element ...view middle of the document...

And yet as a young child, Natalia remains ambivalent of the exact meaning of “The Tiger’s Wife”, instead she interprets her grandfather’s story as a “fairy tale”. Even whilst Natalia remembers as a child, a man being attacked by a tiger, she remains absorbed within her grandfather’s story and his “Jungle Book”, a motif that appears throughout the novel for its sentimental value, again reflecting the grandfather’s obsession with the ‘tiger’. Thus, it is this initial scene in the novel, which prepares the reader for Natalia’s desire to understand the “Tiger’s Wife”; a ‘fairy tale’ caught within the harsh reality of war.
Natalia’s search to understand the meaning of her grandfather’s life, can be read as an extended elegy, in which life and death, truth and superstition, become intertwined in her own life and the lives of the Galina townsfolk. In coming to terms with her grandfather’s death, Natalia is confronted by the superstitions of her grandmother.
“For her, the forty days were fact and common sense, knowledge left over from burying two parent and an older sister, assorted cousins and strangers from her hometown, a formula she had recited to comfort my grandfather whenever he lost a patient in whom he was particularly invested – a superstition, according to him, but something in which he had indulged her with less and less protest as old age had hardened her beliefs.”
Although Natalia is sympathetic to her grandmother’s belief in the “40 days of the soul”, she realises that dealing with grief can be seen as a “formula” when such rituals and superstitions exist. Therefore, in the search to understand life and death, ‘the forty days’ marks the start of Natalia’s realisation that superstition can bind communities together and reinstate the individual’s sense of hope in the world.
“The Deathless Man” serves as a pivotal story in “The Tiger’s Wife” and as a memory from Natalia’s grandfather’s past. The reader is introduced to the “Deathless Man” from the grandfather’s point of view, recounting a call from the townsfolk to determine if a man in a coffin had actually died. Throughout the novel, Obreht alternates from Natalia’s dialogue in the present, to that of the Grandfather’s first-hand experiences.
“It is not so serious,” he says, smiling. He reaches around and fingers the bullets in the back of his head, and the whole time he is smiling at me rather like a cow. I can picture his fingers moving around on the bullets, and the whole time he is touching them I am reaching for his hands to stop him, and I can imagine his eyes moving around, in and out of his head, as the bullets push his brains about. Which, of course, isn’t happening. But you can see it all the same. Then he says: “I know this is probably very frightening for you, Doctor, but this is not the first time this has happened.” p.63
In this passage, the Grandfather’s sense of reality becomes blurred, as his encounter with the Deathless Man, propels him to think of the consequences of...

Find Another Essay On The Tiger's Wife

Athletes as Celebrities; some history as well as look at impact media has on it

2698 words - 11 pages upon throughout this paper is the recent engagement of Tiger Woods too Swedish model Elin Nordegren as well as the rumored dating of football player Brian Urlacher and the ever famous socialite Paris Hilton. Another instance I plan too look into is the case of Tim Hasselbeck a former Boston College quarterback who plays for the Washington Redskins and his wife Elisabeth Hasselbeck who is now a host of the popular day time show The View and was a

Notes Of Much Ado About Nothing

1574 words - 6 pages himself as an actor and playwright. Evidently, Shakespeare garnered envy early on for his talent, as related by the critical attack of Robert Greene, a London playwright, in 1592: "...an upstart crow, beautified with our feathers, that with his Tiger's heart wrapped in a player's hide, supposes he is as well able to bombast out a blank verse as the best of you: and being an absolute Johannes fac totum, is in his own conceit the only Shake-scene in a

Apocalypse Now

2289 words - 9 pages is this aspect of the movie that most clearly parallels Conrad's book, and the most visible interpretation of the movie. Coppula's movie can also be viewed in a moral context. I viewed this movie as a documentary of a journey into hell, not unlike Dante's Divine Comedy, but more similar in form to the Greek myth of Orpheus. Orpheus was the Greek musician who journeyed into Hades after the death of his wife. He convinced Pluto to release his

No Regrets: An Examination of Static Morality and the Disruption of Normal Order in the History Plays of William Shakespeare

2368 words - 9 pages qualities assigned to Queen Margaret are not typical qualities of a woman of the period, thus "Margaret and Henry represent the reversal of the natural order of male/female and husband/wife as well as subject/sovereign relationships" (Lee 217). This is not only true of their internal qualities, but also of their external actions. As King Henry's ineptitude to adequately rule his kingdom grows, so does the authority of Queen Margaret. Figuratively

Defining identity in Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko, or The Royal Slave: A True History

1840 words - 7 pages , “Behn connects the images of the tiger's excised heart and Imoinda's delivered baby a few pages later, when she describes the anguish which Imoinda's pregnancy gives Oroonoko: "Her Griefs were so many Darts in the great Heart of Caesar," (51). Essentially, Imoinda embodies the conflict between past and present, freedom and slavery, which prompts Oroonoko’s actions in this passage. Tuscan is another individual distinguished from the Coramantien

The View of Society on Interracial Marriage

3288 words - 13 pages The View of Society on Interracial Marriage Just three decades ago, Thurgood Marshall was only months away from appoint- ment to the Supreme Court when he suffered an indignity that today seems not just outrageous but almost incomprehensible. He and his wife had found their dream house in a Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C., but could not lawfully live together in that state: he

Hinduism

3381 words - 14 pages Rama is recounted in the Ramayana by the saga Valmiki, who is the traditional author of the epic. Rama is deprived of the kingdom to which he is heir and is exiled to the forest with his wife Sita and his brother Laksmana. While there, Sita is abducted by Ravana, the demon king of Lanka. In their search for Sita, the brothers ally themselves with a monkey king whose general, Hanuman (who later became a monkey deity), finds Sita in Lanka. In a

MACBETH report

2759 words - 11 pages with Banquo's "wrong-doings". He thencalls them men "I'the worst rank of manhood" (III, ii, 103). In other words, he tells themthat revenge is manly, andthat if they want to be men, they must revenge their "suffering".Malcolm made another reference to revenge concerning manliness. (IV, iii,230) He commentsMacduff's wish to kill Macbeth because of the murder of Macduff's wife andchildren, with "Thistune goes manly".Right before this pronouncing

william shakespear sonnets characteristics

8418 words - 34 pages playwright Robert Greene that takes a few jabs at William Shakespeare: "...There is an upstart Crow, beautified with our feathers, that with his Tiger's heart wrapped in a Player's hide, supposes he is as well able to bombast out a blank verse as the best of you: and being an absolute Johannes factotum, is in his own conceit the only Shake-scene in a country," Greene wrote of Shakespeare.Scholars differ on the interpretation of this criticism, but

shakespeare

9473 words - 38 pages William Shakespeare: "...There is an upstart Crow, beautified with our feathers, that with his Tiger's heart wrapped in a Player's hide, supposes he is as well able to bombast out a blank verse as the best of you: and being an absolute Johannes factotum, is in his own conceit the only Shake-scene in a country," Greene wrote of Shakespeare.Scholars differ on the interpretation of this criticism, but most agree that it was Greene's way of saying

When the Bubble Burst

1539 words - 6 pages By the time I arrived state side from my second tour in the Middle East the housing bubble had already burst. I noticed a drastic change in the way that many of my friends and family were living. Several of my friends that worked in real estate had sold their boats and seconds houses. My own stock portfolio had lost a third of its value. My sister and her husband had defaulted on their home mortgage leaving them scrambling for a place to live. I

Similar Essays

The Tiger's Rising (Tiger Woods) This Essay Is A Short History On Tiger's Journey From His Childhood Fame To Becoming The The Greatest Golf Player Ever!

1126 words - 5 pages swore at that time that he would call his son "Tiger" in honor of his friend. A few years later his friend died. Earl had never picked up a golf club until at the age of 43 when a buddy got him to come out to the course and give it a try. When he played it that day he fell in love with the sport. He said that if he had a son he would introduce him to the sport when he was young so he'd get a chance to play early in life. His wife Kultida gave

Who's Got The Power? Essay

1188 words - 5 pages , Macomber sprinted away in fear of the lion attacking him. This cowardly action was met by disrespect, and utter rudeness by his wife Margot. Due to this action of cowardliness, Macomber lost all respect and dominance over his wife. This can be seen through her actions and attitude towards her husband Francis throughout the story. These actions and this attitude shown towards Macomber become evident to Robert Wilson, their hunting guide, quite

Comparative Analysis Of Transformation Motifs In Fairy Tales

2813 words - 11 pages " and "Frog King, or Iron Heinrich." It is about a woman appearance that is distorted instead of the man. When her skin was burned, the husband went to find his wife no matter what because he wanted to show his princess to the town and reunite with her. In the 1947 film "La Belle et la bête" by Jean Cocteau, it placed a strong importance on the wanted quality of a woman. On the other hand, in Angela Carter's "The Tiger's Bride," with it's

White Tiger Essay

1243 words - 5 pages a minority, and with a family that could not afford to pay for his schooling. He was, undoubtedly, bound to be stuck in the Rooster Coop. However, he had been hired at a hospital where he picked up nursing skills and in his spare time worked as an electrician. Now, he is a middle class man, out of the Rooster Coop, with a car, a wife, and children who are being put through nursing school. Overall, The White Tiger's explanation of India is true