Bear in There Poem Analysis

“Bear in There” is a humorous poem by the Oscar-nominated, Grammy-winning poet Shel Silverstein. Here, a child is rather distraught to find a bear in their Frigidaire. The bear has taken over all the food and if anyone tries to intervene the situation, the bear threatens them with a fearful roar.

Bear in There


There’s a Polar Bear
In our Frigidaire–
He likes it ’cause it’s cold in there.
With his seat in the meat
And his face in the fish
And his big hairy paws
In the buttery dish,
He’s nibbling the noodles,
He’s munching the rice,
He’s slurping the soda,
He’s licking the ice.
And he lets out a roar
If you open the door.
And it gives me a scare
To know he’s in there–
That Polary Bear
In our Fridgitydaire.

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Analysis of Silverstein’s “Bear in There”

“Bear in there” is a light and uplifting poem written by the artist-poet Shel Silverstein. It was published in 1981 in Silverstein’s collection of poem “A Light in the Attic”. In this humorous poem, a child is ranting about how a polar bear has taken over their “Fridgitydaire”. The bear “likes it cause it’s cold in there.” However, he has also taken over the contents as he’s made himself a “seat in the meat”, and put his “face in the fish”. Even after all this, the bear is far from being content, he is shamelessly “nibbling the noodles”, “munching the rice”, “slurping the soda” and “licking the ice” – it’s a complete riot! The bear does not want to be disturbed as it roars when the door is opened.

The theme that this poem follows is unruly and difficult children. The poem gives off the idea that the unruly, inconsiderate bear is an analogy for growing children of all shapes and sizes. When it comes to eating healthy or maintaining the table etiquettes, tired and bored, children sometimes decide to completely abandon them. Silverstein’s witty humor has turned such a savage child who has disagreeable table manners into a bear that has “… his big hairy paws/ In the buttery dish”.

There are no periods in the poem until the bear is “licking the ice” which alludes to the fact that the narrator is angered and is complaining about it all in one breath. Nevertheless, from the lines, “And he lets out a roar/ If you open the door/ And it gives me a scare” we learn that he would not tell him otherwise. To many readers, the speaker might seem to be a worried little girl. However, to very many, perhaps the speaker would be a frustrated father who is having a hard time trying to deal with changing nature of his growing teenage child.

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