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Tiger in the Menage rie by Emma Jones Euge Kenny, Juan Subirá, Trini Torrendell & Jose Tasca

Tiger in the Menagerie

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Tiger in the Menagerieby Emma JonesEuge Kenny, Juan Subir, Trini Torrendell & Jose Tasca

Emma JonesBorn in 1979Australian poetHer father is AustralianHer mother is British but had emigrated

to Australia

Emma studied at the universities of:Sydney (Australia)Cambridge (England)Outstanding student


Stanza 1 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 exhibition.

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 its a dangerous individual.

Representing the civilized society.Meant to demonstrate how civilised an individual is.The tiger is stealthy

Stanzas 2 & 3At night the bars of the cage and the stripes of the tigerlooked into each other so longthat when it was time for those eyes to rock shut

the bars were the lashes of the stripesthe stripes were the lashes of the bars

personification: the bars and the stripes

tigers ability to camouflage

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 & 5and they walked together in their dreams so longthrough the long colonnade that shed its fretwork to the Indian main

that when the sun rose theyd gone and the tiger was one clear orange eye that walked into the menagerie.

the tigers eye and the sun, blend into one, as the bars and the stripes had also blend before. 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.

Colonnade: the true inside emotions come out.

theyd gone: talks about the animals that were eaten by the tigerthey: the bars and the stripes(humans and violence)

Stanza 6No 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 get out.

Stanza 7If 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 birds. Alliteration

Structure7 stanzasStanzas of 2 or 3 lines longNo Rhyme Scheme (contributes to the effect of this poem seeming wild and uncontrollable just like our instincts)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)

SummaryNo 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 tigers reach.by GAYNOR BORADE

Theme & ToneThemes: the delusions of mankind, our true nature, violence, the power of nature, violence inside civility.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.

MessageThe 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, its 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.