Mrs. Packletide’s Tiger

by

Saki

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Mrs. Packletide Character Analysis

Mrs. Packletide, the protagonist of “Mrs. Packletide’s Tiger,” is a frivolous and petty high-society Edwardian woman. Her behavior is primarily driven by her competitive relationship with fellow London socialite Loona Bimberton. Mrs. Packletide is determined to one-up Bimberton’s exploits in flying with an Algerian aviator by undertaking an even more attention-grabbing exotic adventure. She travels to India with her paid companion, Louisa Mebbin, in order to bring back a tiger-skin. In an extraordinary feat, Mrs. Packletide misses her shot when targeting an elderly tiger at close range, but the pitiful creature is literally frightened to death at the rifle’s loud discharge. Mrs. Packletide happily pretends she has succeeded in acquiring her trophy; but back in London, her parading of the tiger-skin at every opportunity is suddenly derailed when Louisa Mebbin threatens to tell their peers the truth of the hunt. The pretentious Mrs. Packletide receives her comeuppance in having to buy Miss Mebbin an expensive weekend cottage in return for Mebbin’s continued silence.

Mrs. Packletide Quotes in Mrs. Packletide’s Tiger

The Mrs. Packletide’s Tiger quotes below are all either spoken by Mrs. Packletide or refer to Mrs. Packletide . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Edwardian Upper-Class Pretension Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Pantianos Classics edition of Mrs. Packletide’s Tiger published in 2016.
Mrs. Packletide’s Tiger Quotes

The compelling motive for her sudden deviation towards the footsteps of Nimrod was the fact that Loona Bimberton had recently been carried eleven miles in an aeroplane by an Algerian aviator, and talked of nothing else; only a personally procured tiger-skin and a heavy harvest of press photographs could successfully counter that sort of thing.

Related Characters: Mrs. Packletide , Loona Bimberton
Related Symbols: The Tiger
Page Number: 85
Explanation and Analysis:

The prospect of earning the thousand rupees had stimulated the sporting and commercial instincts of the local villagers; children were posted night and day on the outskirts of the local jungle to head the tiger back in the unlikely event of his attempting to roam away to fresh hunting-grounds, and the cheaper kinds of goats were left about with elaborate carelessness to keep him satisfied with his present quarters.

Related Characters: Mrs. Packletide , The Villagers
Related Symbols: The Tiger
Page Number: 85
Explanation and Analysis:

The great night duly arrived, moonlit and cloudless. A platform had been constructed in a comfortable and conveniently placed tree, and thereon crouched Mrs. Packletide and her paid companion, Miss Mebbin. A goat, gifted with a particularly persistent bleat, such as even a partially deaf tiger might be reasonably expected to hear on a still night, was tethered at the correct distance. With an accurately sighted rifle and a thumb-nail pack of patience cards the sportswoman awaited the coming of the quarry.

Related Symbols: The Tiger
Page Number: 86
Explanation and Analysis:

Louisa Mebbin adopted a protective elder-sister attitude towards money in general, irrespective of nationality or denomination.

Related Characters: Mrs. Packletide , Louisa Mebbin
Related Symbols: The Weekend Cottage
Page Number: 86
Explanation and Analysis:

In a moment a crowd of excited natives had swarmed on to the scene, and their shouting speedily carried the glad news to the village, where a thumping of tom-toms took up the chorus of triumph. And their triumph and rejoicing found a ready echo in the heart of Mrs. Packletide; already that luncheon-party in Curzon Street seemed immeasurably nearer.

Related Symbols: The Tiger
Page Number: 86
Explanation and Analysis:

Therefore did Mrs. Packletide face the cameras with a light heart, and her pictured fame reached from the pages of the “Texas Weekly-Snapshot” to the illustrated Monday supplement of the “Novoe Vremya.”

Related Symbols: The Tiger
Page Number: 86-7
Explanation and Analysis:

From Curzon Street the tiger-skin rug travelled down to the Manor House, and was duly inspected and admired by the county, and it seemed a fitting and appropriate thing when Mrs. Packletide went to the County Costume Ball in the character of Diana.

Related Characters: Mrs. Packletide
Related Symbols: The Tiger
Page Number: 87
Explanation and Analysis:

“How amused everyone would be if they knew what really happened,” said Louisa Mebbin a few days after the ball. “What do you mean?” asked Mrs. Packletide quickly. “How you shot the goat and frightened the tiger to death,” said Miss Mebbin, with her disagreeably pleasant laugh. “No one would believe it,” said Mrs. Packletide, her face changing colour as rapidly as though it were going through a book of patterns before post-time. “Loona Bimberton would,” said Miss Mebbin.

Related Characters: Mrs. Packletide (speaker), Louisa Mebbin (speaker), Loona Bimberton
Related Symbols: The Tiger, The Weekend Cottage
Page Number: 87
Explanation and Analysis:

Louisa Mebbin’s pretty week-end cottage, christened by her “Les Fauves,” and gay in summer-time with its garden borders of tiger-lilies, is the wonder and admiration of her friends.

Related Characters: Mrs. Packletide , Louisa Mebbin
Related Symbols: The Tiger, The Weekend Cottage
Page Number: 87
Explanation and Analysis:

Mrs. Packletide indulges in no more big-game shooting. “The incidental expenses are so heavy,” she confides to inquiring friends.

Related Characters: Mrs. Packletide (speaker), Louisa Mebbin, Loona Bimberton
Page Number: 87
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Mrs. Packletide’s Tiger LitChart as a printable PDF.
Mrs. Packletide’s Tiger PDF

Mrs. Packletide Character Timeline in Mrs. Packletide’s Tiger

The timeline below shows where the character Mrs. Packletide appears in Mrs. Packletide’s Tiger. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Mrs. Packletide’s Tiger
Edwardian Upper-Class Pretension Theme Icon
Female Jealousy Theme Icon
Mrs. Packletide wants to shoot a tiger. She is thrilled not at the idea of the hunt... (full context)
Edwardian Upper-Class Pretension Theme Icon
Female Jealousy Theme Icon
Animals vs. Humans Theme Icon
Mrs. Packletide can already imagine flaunting her success to London’s upper crust—she will host a luncheon, supposedly... (full context)
Edwardian Upper-Class Pretension Theme Icon
Animals vs. Humans Theme Icon
...rupees for the opportunity to shoot a tiger in India “without overmuch risk or exertion,” Mrs. Packletide is fortunate to find a village that offers an elderly and almost-tame tiger for the... (full context)
Edwardian Upper-Class Pretension Theme Icon
Animals vs. Humans Theme Icon
...tiger to consume. However, their most pressing concern is keeping the elderly creature alive until Mrs. Packletide arrives for the hunt—in order to let the pitiful tiger sleep peacefully, everybody goes about... (full context)
Edwardian Upper-Class Pretension Theme Icon
Animals vs. Humans Theme Icon
The night of the shoot arrives, “moonlit and cloudless.” Mrs. Packletide and her paid companion, Louisa Mebbin, have arrived in the village and are waiting for... (full context)
Edwardian Upper-Class Pretension Theme Icon
Female Jealousy Theme Icon
...fact, but rather due to her “morbid dread” of being underpaid for her work. Upon Mrs. Packletide ’s reply that the tiger is too old to reach them in the tree, Miss... (full context)
Edwardian Upper-Class Pretension Theme Icon
...the nearby village headman. The tiger then “ambles” toward the goat. Miss Mebbin shouts at Mrs. Packletide to shoot the tiger quickly, for “if he doesn’t touch the goat we needn’t pay... (full context)
Edwardian Upper-Class Pretension Theme Icon
Female Jealousy Theme Icon
Animals vs. Humans Theme Icon
Mrs. Packletide fires a loud shot from the rifle, and the tiger jumps in the air before... (full context)
Edwardian Upper-Class Pretension Theme Icon
Female Jealousy Theme Icon
It is Louisa Mebbin who realizes that Mrs. Packletide has accidentally shot the goat instead of the tiger, for the goat thrashes near death... (full context)
Edwardian Upper-Class Pretension Theme Icon
Female Jealousy Theme Icon
Upon Mrs. Packletide ’s return to London, Loona Bimberton cannot bear to look at illustrated newspapers for weeks.... (full context)
Edwardian Upper-Class Pretension Theme Icon
Female Jealousy Theme Icon
Mrs. Packletide sends the tiger-skin from house to house in London, where it is “duly inspected and... (full context)
Edwardian Upper-Class Pretension Theme Icon
Female Jealousy Theme Icon
Animals vs. Humans Theme Icon
A few days after the ball, Louisa Mebbin shocks Mrs. Packletide when she threatens to reveal the truth of their fabricated hunt to Loona Bimberton and... (full context)
Edwardian Upper-Class Pretension Theme Icon
Female Jealousy Theme Icon
Animals vs. Humans Theme Icon
...tiger-lilies.” They marvel at the mystery of “how Louisa manages to do it.’” Meanwhile, when Mrs. Packletide ’s peers ask about her future big-game hunting exploits, Mrs. Packletide replies that she no... (full context)