A Tiger in the Zoo Poem Class 10 English Chapter 3, Summary, Explanation, Solutions

A Tiger in the Zoo Poem of CBSE Class 10 English, Summary, Explanation with NCERT Solutions

A Tiger in the Zoo Class 10th English First Flight Poem 3 – Detailed explanation of the poem along with meanings of difficult words. Also, the clarification is followed by the literary devices used and a description of the Poem. All the exercises and Answers and Questions given at the back of the chapter have been covered.

10th Class English First Flight Poem

A Tiger in The Zoo Poem Explanation

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

He should be lurking in shadow,
Sliding through long grass
 Near the water hole
Where plump deer pass.

He should be snarling around houses
At the jungle’s edge,
Baring his white fangs, his claws,
Terrorizing the village!

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

He hears the last voice at night,
The patrolling cars,
                       And stares with his brilliant eyes
At the brilliant stars.

Explanation of stanza 1
In this stanza, the poet describes the appearance of the tiger in the zoo and its daily movements. He says that the tiger moves up and down his cage. The stripes on its body can be distinguished when even seen from afar as they are of a bright colour and even darker than the rest of its coat. The tiger is able to walk only a few steps as the length of its cage is so small that it covers the distance in a few mere steps only. The tiger walks around on his smooth velvet pads without making a sound. The tiger is full of anger and rage but is quiet and suppressed because he knows that he is helpless.

Explanation of stanza 2
In this stanza, looking at the imprisoned tiger, the poet is filled with pity. The poet imagines another life for the tiger outside the zoo. He says that the poor tiger should have been in his natural habitat that is in the wild forest and not in the zoo. He says that under normal conditions, the tiger would have been moving in the darkness and not in the daylight. It would have been lying in the shadows of trees or hiding itself behind long grass so that its prey will not be able to detect its movement. Near the water hole, he would be waiting for some fat deer to catch his sight as all the animals of the forest came there to drink on scorching afternoons. Thus, he would be lying there in expectations of a heavy feast.

Explanation of stanza 3
In this stanza, the poet imagines what the tiger would be doing in case he failed to hunt in his natural environment. He said that the tiger would be growling at the edge of jungle near some village. He would be showing his white fangs and claws by moving here and there with the intention of terrifying all the inhabitants of the village. He would thus become a cause of terror for the villagers. The poet here gives a hint that if we destroy the natural habitat of tigers, they will be forced to turn towards our towns and villages in search of their daily bread.

Explanation of stanza 4
In this stanza, the poet stops visualizing the tiger’s alternate life and returns to its real one. The poet spots the tiger caged in a small concrete cell in the zoo like a jailbird. In spite of all his strength and power, it now lies in prison behind bars. The tiger pays no attention to the visitors who come to see him at the wildlife park every day, but instead it very slowly and silently, moves up and down along the length of the cage without any annoyance in the form for human arbitration.

Explanation of stanza 5
In this stanza, the poet describes the daily regime of the tiger. The tiger does not rest or laze during the day because of the visitors. Even at night, it stays awake till the very last voice of the zookeeper locking up and going home can be heard. After that too, it does not doze off. All night it remains disturbed due to the hubbub of the patrolling. He keeps glaring at the brilliant stars with his dazzling eyes. Mayhap, he is asking heaven why he has been imprisoned there.

Also See: Fire and ICE Class 10 CBSE English Poem Summary, Explanation

A Tiger in the Zoo Summary of the poem

The poetry begins with a description of a tiger that is very pretty and is walking in his little cage. He has pretty stripes on his skin and has velvet-like soft paws. But the quite angry about being confined in the cage and tiger is not happy. The poet says that if the tiger was not limited to the zoo cage, he would have been hiding behind the lengthy grass near some water body, in order to catch its prey that is the antelope. Also, he would have frightened the residents of the villages around the forest area. But the tangibility is totally opposite to this. He was confined in a cage that was made up of hard building material and he was helpless there. He could not show his power to the visitors, therefore, he never tried to tell them. The tiger is described as being agonized and powerless by the poet. He says that during the night also he is alone, looking at the stars and hearing the voice of the patrolling vehicles of police. The cage life has altogether altered the tiger’s personality. The poet is trying to say that the animal which is famous for its freedom and fearlessness is confined and sad due to human beings.

NCERT Solutions of A Tiger in the Zoo Poem

Q.1.What do you think is the impact of this repetition?
A. The poet has repeated the words to give a good impact on his poetry. As the use of silence with velvet, pads describes that the tiger has to walk in the limited area of his cage. He cannot run as he would have done had it been in the forest. Whereas ‘quiet rage’ shows the hidden anger inside him which has grown powerful because of his captivity in the cage. The next word he used is ‘brilliant’. The word brilliant in the 1st line means the twinkling bright stars and the brilliant words used for the tiger’s eyes show the sadness of the tiger who would have led a free and dauntless life if it were in the jungle.

Q2.‘He petiole in his luminous stripes.’ How does the tiger look in his cage?
A. The tiger has fast, clear stripes on his body.He looks majestic as he moves quietly and slowly in his cage.He has soft velvety pads.He makes no noise as he moves. He has brilliant shining eyes.

Q3. ‘On pads of soft silent /in his silent rage, what does the tiger do in his cage?
A. It is a very small cage. The tiger can hardly take some steps along the length of the cage. He doesn’t take any notice of the visitant who comes there. With his bright eyes, he keeps looking at the bright stars.

Q4. ‘He should be lurking in the sliding/ shadows through long grass ‘what should the tiger be doing if he were in the jungle?
A. He would be sliding slowly through the long grass. He would be sitting by some water and waiting pore for some plump antelope to pass that way.

Q5. ‘He should be snarling around houses /at the jungle’s edge’ what should the tiger be doing if he were at the edge of the jungle?
The tiger would be moving around the houses in a nearby village .he would be growling while moving around. The sight of his white fangs and his terrifying claws would fill the villagers with terrorism.

Q6.‘Stalking the length of his ignoring visitors/cage’ that is the tiger doing? Why is he ignoring the visitant?
A. The tiger is moving along the length of the cage quietly and slowly. He sees that he visitant keep going and coming. The tiger sees that all of them are fellows of without feeling. So he stops taking any notice of them.

Q7.‘And stares with his at the brilliant stars/brilliant eyes ‘Why do you think the tiger looks at the stars?
A. The tiger has missed all hope from men .now he has hope from heaven only .it is this hope that has kept the genius in his eyes. That is why the tiger looks at the brilliant eyes with his brilliant stars.

 Q8. Notice the use of a word repeated in lines such as these.(i)On pads of fragile quiet In his quite tire.(ii)And stars with his brilliant eyes iii)At the brilliant stars.What do you think is the effect is this replication?
A. The replication increases the fast of the tiger’s rage and his helpless serenity. Read out the poem again, and work in groups or pairs to do the following actions.
(i) Find the words that delineate the actions and movements of the tiger in the cage and in the wild. Arrange them in 2 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 images and words to contrast the two cases.


In the cage In the Wild
Stalks, quiet rage, ignoring visitors, hears the sound of patrolling cars, stares at stars Lurking in shadow, sliding through the long grass, snarling around houses, baring his white fangs, terrorising the village


Few steps of his cage Shadow, long grass
Locked in concrete cell Snarling around houses
His Strength behind bars Baring his white fangs, his claws
Terrorising the village Ignoring visitors

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Kunji Team

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