Discuss how the poet uses language to emphasise the theme of being trapped.
‘The Tiger in the Menagerie’ is a poem by Emma Jones which explores multiples themes, including the theme of being trapped, and the inability to control actions and events. The poem uses many language techniques such as personification, imagery, and repetition to achieve an emotional response from the audience.
One of the most obvious and straightforward themes in this poem is the idea of being trapped, which in this poem, the tiger seems to be trapped in the menagerie. The language in the second stanza – “the bars of the cage and the stripes of the tiger looked into each other so long” treats the bars and the stripes of the tiger as separate entities, but the personification recognises them as a commonality. The use of personification makes the audience feel a personal connection to the tiger and the freedom that has been taken away from it, making the audience feel sympathetic towards the helpless tiger.
The intense imagery in the line “the bars were the lashes of the stripes / the stripes were the lashes of the bars” describes how close the tiger was to the cage. The parallel structure makes this stanza stand out, and emphasises the similarity/unity of the tiger’s stripes and the bars of the cage, and is also supported by the imagery used.
Although the tiger somehow managed to escape the menagerie, the theme of being trapped was still consistent throughout the poem. “If the menagerie could, it would say ‘tiger’.” shows that the other animals in the menagerie could not escape the tigers’ violence and predatory actions towards them. “If the aviary could, it would lock its’ door.” also shows the helplessness of the tiger’s victims, emphasised by the personification used to make the audience feel a closer connection to the poem.
The theme of being trapped is consistent throughout the poem, not only on the tiger, but other creatures as well. This theme is made obvious due to...