A Tiger in The Zoo Class 10 English Solutions, Summary, Video

Leslie Norris : A Tiger in  the Zoo
Leslie Norris

George Leslie Norris (21 May 1921 – 6 April 2006) is considered one of the most important Welsh writers of the post-war (2nd World War) period. He worked as a lecturer, teacher and headmaster and adopted full-time writing. with residencies at academic institutions in Britain and the United States.His collections of poems include ‘Tongue of Beauty’ (1941), ‘Finding Gold’ (1967), and ‘A Sea in the Desert’ (1989). His volumes of short stories include ‘Sliding; (1978) and ‘The Girl from Cardigan’ (1988).His collections of stories, including Collected Stories, and poems, including Collected Poems, have won many prizes, among them the Cholmondeley Poetry Prize, the David Higham Memorial Prize, the Katherine Mansfield Memorial Award, the AML Award for poetry (in 1996) and the Welsh Arts Council Senior Fiction Award.

‘A Tiger in the Zoo’ Video – Hindi Explanation and Poetic Devices

About the Poem ‘A Tiger in the Zoo

The poem consists of 5 stanzas. Each of these stanzas is again made up of 4 lines. Hence, the entire poem consists of 20 lines in total. The poem has a very good rhyming.

This poem portrays the anguish and pain of the tiger in two contrasting distinct settings. The first setting is that of the zoo that confines him to a cell of concrete wall. With bars. The second setting is that of the forest where his natural home exists. He should have been to his natural way of lurking in the grass around water holes, in search of prey. He also should have been terrorising the people living at the jungle’s edge. These two settings are contrasted against each other. In doing so, the poet’s motive is to show how much better the tiger is suited to the second setting than the first. The poet wants to tell the world that a Tiger belongs to jungle which is its natural habitat.

A Tiger in the Zoo: Textbook Exercises

Thinking about the Poem

1. Read the poem again, and work in pairs or groups to do the following tasks.

(i) Find the words that describe the movements and actions of the tiger in the case and in the wild. Arrange them in two columns.
(ii) Find the words that describe the two places, and arrange them in two columns.
Now try to share ideas about how the poet uses words and images to contrast the two situations.



In the cage In the wild
Stalks Lurking in shadow
Few steps of his cage Sliding through long grass
Quiet rage Snarling around houses
Locked in a concrete cell Baring his white fangs, his claws
Stalking the length of his cage Terrorising the village
Ignoring visitors  
Stares at the brilliant stars  


Cage Wild
Few steps of his cage Shadow
Concrete cell Long grass
Locked Water hole
Behind bars Plump deer
Visitors Houses at the jungle’s edge
Patrolling cars Village

2. Notice the use of a word repeated in lines such as these:
(i) On pads of velvet quiet,
In his quiet rage.
(ii) And stares with his brilliant eyes
At the brilliant stars.
What do you think is the effect of this repetition?


Poetic devices are used to adore and enhance the gravity of poem in conveying the poet’s thoughts. This repetition is one of such  poetic device which used  portray the anguish and pain and rage of a tiger in the zoo- the intensity of the tiger’s rage and his helpless silence.

On pads of velvet quiet refers to the soft pads of the tiger. In his quiet rage–  here the word ‘quiet’ refers the anger hidden in the tiger. because his movements have been limited to only few steps within the confinement of thee walls of the concrete cell. This double use of ‘quiet’ has brought immense beauty to the poem.

And stares with his brilliant eyes – The poet here refers to the  ‘brilliant’  and bright eyes of the tiger. His eyes can easily be noticed from far in the night time. And stares with his brilliant eyes– here the word ‘brilliant’ refers the bright and shining stars. What a beauty is added to the poem when the poet Mr Norris bring both the ‘brilliant’ eyes and the ‘brilliant’ starts together by an eye contact as the tiger stares the brilliant stars with his brilliant eyes. The effect of repetition brings some meaning also as the stars are in open but he is in confine – The poet beautifully and thoughtfully portrays the helplessness of the tiger here that he is in confinement otherwise he also would have been as free in open as the shining stars.

3. Read the following two poems − one about a tiger and the other about a panther. Then discuss:

Are zoos necessary for the protection or conservation of some species of animals? Are they useful for educating the public? Are there alternatives to zoos?

                                The Tiger

The tiger behind the bars of his cage growls,
The tiger behind the bars of his cage snarls,
The tiger behind the bars of his cage roars.
Then he thinks.
It would be nice not to be behind bars all
The time
Because they spoil my view
I wish I were wild, not on show.
But if I were wild, hunters might shoot me,
But if I were wild, food might poison me,
But if I were wild, water might drown me.
Then he stops thinking
The tiger behind the bars of his cage growls,
The tiger behind the bars of his cage snarls,
The tiger behind the bars of his cage roars. 


                            The Panther

His vision, from the constantly passing bars,
has grown so weary that it cannot hold
anything else. It seems to him there are
a thousand bars; and behind the bars, no world.
As he paces in cramped circles, over and over,
the movement of his powerful soft strides
is like a ritual dance around a centre
in which a mighty will stands paralysed.
Only at times, the curtain of the pupils
lifts, quietly. An image enters in,
rushes down through the tensed, arrested muscles,
plunges into the heart and is gone. 



Zoos are created for recreation purpose and can not be warranted this way to confine animals to entertain people. but at  the same time, Zoos are also places where animals can be brought to protect or conserve them. But again, Zoos can not be argued in favour of as animals lose their natural habitat in little confinements of the zoo as described effectively the anguish and pain of a tiger in the zoo. There they suffer traumatic depression and lack proper exercise, sunlight , fresh air, water, and sometimes die in such horrible conditions.

Environmentalists and people who care for animals have been fighting for the rights of animals to have their natural habitats. The result is the creation of National Parks and Sanctuaries to conserve animal species that need protection and conservation. Zoos should be negated in favour of natural habitats. 

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