A Tiger in The Zoo Questions & Answers

Hi Everyone!! This article will share A Tiger in The Zoo Questions & Answers.

The poem is written by Leslie Norris. Through this poem, the poet conveys a deep idea about the enslavement of animals by the selfish humans. In my previous posts, I have shared Nelson Mandela Long Walk To Freedom Questions & Answers, A Letter To God Important Questions & Answers and His First Flight Questions & Answers so, make sure to check these posts as well.

A Tiger in The Zoo Questions & Answers

Question 1: Find phrases from the poem that describe the movements and actions of the tiger in the cage and in the wild?

Answer: Phrases like ‘quiet rage’, ‘stalks in his vivid stripes’, ‘stalking the length of his cage’, ‘ignoring visitors’, ‘locked in a concrete cell’, ‘stares with his brilliant eyes’ suggest the movements and actions of the tiger in the cage.

The following is the list of phrases used to describe his actions and movements in the jungle: ‘sliding through long grass’, ‘lurking in shadow’, ‘snarling around houses’, ‘baring his white fangs’ and ‘terrorising the village’.

Question 2: Notice the use of a word repeated in lines given below. What do you think is the effect of this repetition?  

(i) On pads of velvet quiet.
In his quiet rage.

Answer: Repetition of the word ‘quiet’ emphasises the silence that pervades the tiger’s cage. Though the tiger has padded paws, soft like velvet, which produce no sound but this silence is not disturbed even by the footsteps of the tiger.
Moreover, in the unnatural confines of the cage, the has suppressed his natural self and he doesn’t roar. He keeps quiet instead of roaring to threaten people as he would do in the forest.

(ii) And stares with his brilliant eyes
At the brilliant stars.

Answer: Due to the darkness of the night, the lustre of the tiger’s eyes as well as that of the stars becomes more pronounced. The poet wants to emphasise the fact that the tiger longs for the open world looking at the vast, open, natural expanse of the sky and this strong desire brightens his eyes. So, the repetition of ‘brilliant’ emphasizes the tiger’s yearning to be in the world of nature represented by the bright stars.

Question 3: Explain: ‘pads of velvet quiet’.

Answer: The underside of a tiger’s paws is so smooth and soft like velvet that they do not create any sound when he walks about.

Question 4: Why can the tiger walk only a few steps in his cage?

Answer: The tiger can walk only a few steps in his cage because it is very small and cramped and provides only a little space for the tiger to walk in.

Question 5: Why is the tiger in a rage?

Answer: The tiger in a rage as he is being captured and put in a cage. He can neither move about at his will nor can exercise his strength.

Question 6: How does the poet describe the tiger’s appearance?

Answer: With sharp, clear stripes all over his body, the tiger looks majestic. His stripes stand in complete contrast to the colour of his coat and are very distinct. Though the tiger is actually a beast of prey but he has been called ‘noble’ as he moves about in a royal, stately manner.

Question 7: ‘He should be lurking in shadow’. Why should the tiger be lurking in shadow?

Answer: The tiger should be lurking in the shadow which means the dense vegetation of the forest as it provides him a cover to hide himself and should move stealthily to pounce upon the prey if he finds one nearby. Pouncing on other animals and killing them to satisfy his hunger is the natural behaviour of a tiger.

Question 8: What do ‘water hole’ and ‘plump deer’ suggest?

Answer: ‘Water hole’ and ‘plump deer’ suggest the natural habitat of the tiger – a forest where nature would provide him with plenty of food and water and where he would be able to live freely.

Question 9: What does ‘water-hole’ signify?

Answer: ‘Water hole’ signifies the pond in the jungle where all the animals visit to quench their thirst. Near the pond, the tiger finds his prey many times.

Question 10: “Where plump deer pass.” What is the significance of the word ‘plump’ in the sentence?

Answer: The deer refers to a prey of the tiger. If the deer were ‘plump’, it would become all the more tempting for the tiger as it would provide him sufficient food. The poet has used this word to contrast the tiger’s food in the zoo with the food that he would have got by hunting well-fed and fat animals like deer.

Question 11: What should the tiger be doing if he were at the edges of the jungle?

Answer: Even if the tiger were at the end of the jungle, he would feel very much at home. He would be snarling loudly and frightening people living around the jungle.

Question 12: How would the tiger terrorise the villagers?

Answer: The tiger would terrorise the villagers with his sharp teeth, threatening claws and by snarling loudly. This is because the tiger is a beast of prey and could assault the villagers.

A Tiger in The Zoo Questions & Answers

Question 13: Explain the significance of the words ‘lurking’ and ‘sliding’?

Answer: These words show the tiger’s stealthy movements when he is on the lookout for a prey for himself.

Question 14: What does a tiger do by baring his white fangs?

Answer: By showing his dangerous, sharp, terrifying white teeth, a tiger shows his anger and threatens the people on the edges of the forest.

Question 15: Why is the tiger locked in a concrete cell?

Answer: The tiger is locked in a concrete cell to keep him away from other animals and visitors.

Question 16: What does the expression: “His strength behind bars” emphasize?

Answer: The poet implies that having been locked in a concrete cell, the tiger cannot exercise his strength to charge at people and to frighten them. The bars of the cage have restricted his movement and power as he is a helpless, enslaved and encaged animal.

Question 17: Why does the tiger stalk the length of the cage?

Answer: The tiger stalks the length of the cage because it isthe only space where he can walk about as he has been captured and locked in the concrete cell of the cage in a zoo.

Question 18: Write two disadvantages that the tiger face in the cage?

Answer: Firstly, the tiger doesn’t get to live a free life in a natural environment due to cage.

Secondly, the cage restricted his movement.

Question 19: Why do you think the tiger ignores the visitors?

Answer: The tiger ignores the visitors because in the cage, he feels angry and uncomfortable and painedby his own imprisonment, he shows no interest in human visitors.

Question 20: What does the poet mean by ‘the last voice’?

Answer: By ‘the last voice’, the poet means the sound of the cars heard by the tiger that go about patrolling the zoo to make sure that everything is in order.

Question 21: Instead of sound of the patrolling cars, why does the poet use the word ‘voice’?

Answer: The poet uses the word ‘voice’ ironically for the sound of cars as he wants to emphasize that in the zoo the tiger cannot hear the voices of other animals as he could do in a forest.

Question 22: How does the poet contrast the tiger in a zoo with the tiger in a forest?

Answer: Through this poem, the poet presents two contrasting settings within which the actions, the movements and the behaviour of the tiger are presented. The life in a zoo represents slavery as the movements and the behaviour of the tiger are restricted and his natural self is suppressed. On the contrary, the forest provides unlimited freedom to live a life of his choice in a natural habitat.

Question 23: Give examples of

(a) Alliteration


  • Stalks in his vivid stripe.
  • Locked in a concrete cell

(b) Metaphor

Answer: On pads of velvet quiet.

(c) Oxymoron

Answer: Quiet rage

So, these were A Tiger in The Zoo Questions & Answers.

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