The tiger-claw broach symbolizes the jealous and outrageous rivalry between Mrs. Packletide and Loona Bimberton, two Edwardian socialites who try to best each other for the attention of their peers. Mrs. Packletide is immensely envious of Loona Bimberton’s recent exploits in flying with an Algerian aviator, and hatches a scheme to win back public attention by hunting a tiger in India. Before confirming details of the hunt, Mrs. Packletide is already dreaming of a tiger-claw brooch that she will send to Loona Bimberton for her birthday—ostensibly as a gift, but in actuality a boast of Mrs. Packletide’s success in stealing the limelight from Loona Bimberton. Mrs. Packletide successfully sends her “gift,” and Saki’s tone makes it quite clear that Loona Bimberton’s “letter of thanks” is a superficial social show of good manners and a “model of repressed emotions.” The tiger-claw broach represents exotic adventure and obscene wealth, both of which the two socialites crave. It is also a reminder of the tiger as a dangerous predatory animal, echoing the two women’s unhealthy relationship as they pretend to be friends while going to all lengths to best one another on the social scene.
The Tiger-Claw Brooch Quotes in Mrs. Packletide’s Tiger
Mrs. Packletide indulges in no more big-game shooting. “The incidental expenses are so heavy,” she confides to inquiring friends.