Detailed summary and explanation of “A Tiger in the Zoo” Poem along with meanings for difficult words is provided here. Also, NCERT Question and Answers are also provided to help students understand this Poem and do well in their exams.
The poem gives a sharp contrast of a tiger The poem provides a contrast in the mood and environment of a tiger, when he is in the zoo and when he is in the forest, when it is in its natural habitat and when it is imprisoned.
“This poem contrasts a tiger in the zoo with the tiger in its natural habitat. The poem moves from the zoo to the jungle, and again back to the zoo. In the zoo, he has no freedom. He is kept in a cemented cell behind the bars. He feels angry, frustrated and helpless. This reminds him of his natural habitat, his hiding and sliding in the long grass near the water hole and pouncing upon the fat deer, the way he terrorised the villagers, displaying his sharp teeth and claws. At night in the zoo, he hears the sounds of patrolling cars. The tiger in the zoo appears helpless as a mere showpiece and source of entertainment to people. The poet wants to convey that it is cruel to keep wild animals in small enclosures of the zoo, away from their natural habitat. They feel angry, helpless and unhappy in the cage. He pays no attention to the visitors who come to watch him. In the silence of the night, he stares at the brilliant stars with his bright eyes.
Explanation: The tiger in the zoo walks in the limited space provided to it in the cage. It takes a few steps. There are stripes on its body which are quite prominent. Its paws are soft like velvet. No noise is produced when it walks on its pad of velvet. The tiger is silent but in anger.
He should be lurking in shadow,
Where plump deer pass.
Explanation: The poet suggests that the cage is not the proper place for the tiger. It is not its natural habitat. Usually, tigers are found sitting under long grass near a stream. As soon as they see their prey like deer coming, they slide silently through the grass and kill them. The poet wants to convey that the tiger should be there in the forest, in its natural habitat.
He should be snarling around houses
Explanation : The poet then gives another suggestion that the tiger should be sitting at the jungle’s edge in close vicinity of a village. He should be terrorising the people passing that way by its sharp teeth, baring its claws and producing low sound of anger.
But he’s locked in a concrete cell,
Explanation : The poet now shows deep sympathy at the plight (unpleasant situation) of the tiger that is imprisoned in a cell made of concrete. He cannot come out of the cell because strong bars are fixed. Thus the poet says that the tiger’s strength is locked behind the bars. He shows no interest in looking at the
visitors. Rather he keeps on stalking (in anger) in the limited space of the cage.
He hears the last voice at night,
Explanation : The poet again takes the readers to the cage where the tiger is sitting in the cage and feeling unpleasant and restless. He hears the sound of the patrolling cars of the zoo authorities. He shows no interest in them. He stares at the shining stars with his brilliant eyes. The poet raises a moral issue here. He intends to present a strong case against the cruelty.
Difficult Word Meanings
|stalks||follows||snarling||warning sounds made by animals|
|pads||paws of tiger||fangs||Sharp tooth of animals|
|rage||anger||patrolling||to guard, to vigil|