Commentaire en agnlais de Mrs Packletide tiger, 5 pages
?Mrs Packletide's Tiger?, published in The Chronicles of Clovis in 1911, centres on the materialistic motives of man regarding big-game hunting, which had become a fashion towards the end of the century. Harriet Ritvo, discussing the connection between triumphing over a dangerous animal and subduing unwilling natives, believes that big game hunting was ?the most atavistic and antagonistic connection between humans and animals, [and] became the fitting emblem of the new style in which the English dominated both the human and the natural world.
The Encounter between the Wild and the Tame in ?Mrs Packletide's Tiger
The New Woman Movement
[...] One aspect of Stockton's story is related to the New Woman movement. It was written at a time when American women were fighting for equal rights. Walter Pforzheimer believes that ‘Stockton's story was projected against the background of feminine emancipation'.[xxv] People in Stockton's imaginary country are semi-barbaric. In 1882 the movement for the independence of women was reaching great proportions but the American girl was still semi-barbaric and her emancipation was half won. Stockton is conscious of the new movement around him. The story's end indicates women's dilemma. [...]
[...] Even if Mrs Packletide could shoot the tiger, it was not a test of her bravery and virility. Her aim is reduced to avarice, a lustful act whose only object is to own the animal skin to rival Loona. The tiger is also symbolic of darkness and emblematic of Dionysus who is the god of wine, women and wild behaviour. The tiger and the goat were two of Dionysus' symbols from the animal kingdom. Dionysus is sometimes pictured as riding a tiger. [...]
[...] ]She will have to get rid of her present rampant self-assertion and disregard of old-time modesties, and to consider the wisdom of her restless interference in things with which she has no business, mated with her neglect of all her hitherto assigned duties, before she can reach the standard of her moral possibilities [ ] She wants [ ] to have the freedom of a man while retaining the protection accorded to a sheltered woman, to learn life experimentally as a man, [ ] to be the rival not the helpmate of man [ ] She is to combine both masculine attributes and womanly qualities.[xiv] New Women adopted a manly form of dress. They explored and hunted like men. On the first page of Savory's book there is a photo of her dressed as a hunter, and there were similar photos of New Women in the periodicals of the time. They look like men and claimed that they were physically, morally and intellectually prepared to take their stand with men. [...]
[...] But it also shows that Mebbin is more afraid of Mrs packletide than the beast. Finally the old beast dies of heart failure caused by the noise of the rifle going off. Mrs Packletide understands that she has shot the goat instead and cannot therefore boast of her vanquished foe. As Carey says, tiger is grand a name for the unfortunate old beast that dies of heart failure when Mrs Packletide lets fly at it with her rifle.'[v] Animals were compared and valued according to the degree of danger they posed to the hunter whereas in Saki's story the tiger is less harmful than its hunters. [...]
[...] Some readers believed that as a barbaric princess, she would certainly prefer to see her lover devoured by the tiger than to see him go on living happily with another woman. A great deal of the popularity of the story was based on the title. It was widely used in advertisements, cartoons and political allegory. In 1897 Salt Lake City Herald published its solution to the problem under the title of ‘Reflections of a Bachelor': “Probably the real fact is that the lady ate the tiger. These comments were written against the background of feminine emancipation. Saki's story, like Stockton's, was written in a gentle, whimsical manner. [...]
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