Thursday, 2 April 2020

Tiger in the Zoo class 10 CBSE


A Tiger in the Zoo
                                                                  By Leslie Norris

Notes:

·        The poem describes the agony and helplessness of a tiger caged in a zoo and stresses upon what his life could be if he had been a free animal.
·        The poet conveys that the tiger should be free to hide himself behind the long grass to catch its prey and terrorise the villagers living at the outskirts the forest.
·        Ironically, the tiger in the zoo is powerless and feels helpless in front of the visitors who tease him for their amusement. Alone, he hears the noise of the patrolling cars and stares at the brilliant stars.
·        The poet emphasises that cage life of a tiger is a stark contrast to that of a free tiger that lives the way God has created him.

Line by Line Explanation:

Line 1-4
He stalks in his vivid stripes                
The few steps of his cage,
On pads of velvet quiet,
In his quiet rage.

The poet, Leslie Norris describes the tiger that walks in a caged cell of the zoo. There are bright and beautiful stripes over his body. As he walks quietly with his soft paws or feet, soft like velvet, he is very angry and furious. But he tries to control his anger and quieten himself as he is helpless. Here, the poet wants to criticize man’s tendency to show his power because the tiger is unable to express his anger and grief as his strength is checked behind the bars by man.
   
Line 5-8
He should be lurking in shadow,
Sliding through long grass
Near the water hole                                        
Where plump deer pass.

Here, the poet wants to tell the readers and the mankind that the tiger is given the right to freedom by God and he should be roaming in the jungle freely. He should be free to live quietly in shade and hide in long grass near a pool where a fat and healthy dear may come to drink water. In fact, the poet wants to say that the tiger is born to live freely in jungle where he could catch his prey and eat it but the tiger in the cage is unable to do so.

Line 9-12
He should be snarling around houses
At the jungle’s edge,                                           
Baring his white fangs, his claws,
Terrorising the village!

Here, it is highlighted that the tiger being a wild animal should terrorise the people living at the outskirts of the jungle, with his fearsome snarl (sound of a tiger). He ought to terrorise the villagers showing his big white teeth and deadly claws, and not be terrorised by the people. It is quite ironical and unfortunate for the wild animal like tiger, who is born free and ferrocious, to be behind bars and feel helpless. But, this tiger is locked in a zoo. The poet felt sad to think the tiger is stripped of his strength and thus, his power is abused and mocked at.

Line 13-16
But he’s locked in a concrete cell,
His strength behind bars,
Stalking the length of his cage,
Ignoring visitors.

The poet believes that the tiger being a wild animal ought to terrorise the villagers, and not be terrorised by them, which is quite ironical and unfortunate for the wild animal like tiger. But, unfortunately this tiger is locked in a small cage of a zoo. The poet felt sad to think that an animal like tiger is stripped of his strength and put behind bars by man and thus, his power and strength is abused and mocked at. The tiger is walking in the cage from one end to the other. He looks out of the cage where many visitors have come to see him and try to trouble him for their amusement. It makes him angry and furious. But he tries to ignore them as he is helpless. To divert his attention he keeps walking.

Line 17-20
He hears the last voice at night,
the patrolling cars,
And stares with his brilliant eyes
At the brilliant stars.

At night the tiger hears the sound of patrolling cars which guard and take rounds in the zoo for the upkeep of its safety. He helplessly and sadly looks at the stars that are shining brilliantly with his shining eyes which are hopeful of living freely in jungle. The tiger looks at the stars hopefully and dreams of a life where he will be free to roam, drink water, hunt and eat its prey in the forest. The poet wants to sensitize us to protect animals and respect their right to freedom.

Poetic Devices:

He stalks in his vivid stripes – Alliteration
in his vivid stripes  - Assonance
On pads of velvet quiet – Metaphor
In his quiet rage  - Oxymoron
He should be lurking in shadow – Alliteration
Where plump deer pass  Alliteration
Near the water hole - Consonance
He should be snarlingOnomatopoeia
Baring his white fangs, his clawConsonance
white fangs, his claws –  Asyndeton (avoiding connector ‘and’)
But he’s locked in a concrete cell – Assonance
His strength behind bars – Alliteration
But he's locked in a concrete cell, his strength behind bars - Irony
Baring his white fangs, his claws, Terrorising the village!  - Imagery
stares with his brilliant eyes   Assonance
stares with his brilliant eyes   Consonance 
He hears the last voice at night - Alliteration
patrolling cars, brilliant stars - Imagery

Theme & Message


  • Right to freedom is highlighted as the theme of the poem. The tiger may be well fed and protected in the zoo. However, he can’t stay happy until or unless he is free to live, hunt and run under the open sky.
  • The poet has emphasised misuse and abuse of nature by mankind. Man has a tendency to control everything and even, nature that's why faces negative consequences of it.
  • The poem voices the message that nature, animals and all creatures must be respected and protected. They too, must enjoy their right to live the way they are created by Almighty.  

Important Question - Answers

Q. “Freedom is everyone’s birth right”. How does the poet convey this message through the poem?

Ans. Not only humans but the animals too, cherish freedom and freedom can’t be bargained at any cost. The tiger may be well fed and protected in the zoo. However, he can’t stay happy until or unless he is free to live, hunt and run under the open sky. He is in quiet rage and longs for freedom. He is angry being behind the bars and that too, he can’t express. He would have been a different animal if he had been free and ferocious in jungle and live the way God has created him.


Q. What does the poet wish to convey through the repetition of the words ‘quiet’ and ‘brilliant’?

Ans. Through the repetition of the two words ‘quiet’ in first stanza and ‘brilliant’ in the last stanza the poet wants to make a stark contrast between the tiger in the cage and the tiger in the jungle. First ‘quiet’ portrays tiger’s noiseless soles which are soft like velvet and apt for hunting. The second ‘quiet’ pictures grief and anger of a tiger but his anger is suppressed and controlled as he is not free.             
First ‘brilliant’ refers to tiger’s sad and helpless eyes that are hopeful of living a free life again and the second ‘brilliant’ refers to the stars shining brightly in the open sky thus, conveying two different conditions of a tiger. Through these images the poet tries to highlight that the tiger in the zoo is not free but has every right to live freely.

Video on A Tiger in the Zoo 
https://youtu.be/YwPgxBxwSCo



No comments:

Post a Comment