Frank Stockton's Short Story: 'The Lady Or The Tiger'

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Imagine having to decide between giving the person you love to someone else or killing the person you love. That’s what a princess had to decide in a short story by Frank Stockton called “The Lady or the Tiger.” The princess had to decide between feeding her lover to a tiger or giving him away to another girl because the princess’ father didn’t like they were together. The princess selected the lady instead of killing her boyfriend. There are two distinctive types of reasons that demonstrate the princess chose the lady. One of the categories is direct reasons. On page 5, the book states “she started in wild horror, and covered her face with her hands as she thought of her lover opening the door on the other side of which waited the cruel …show more content…
One of these reasons is the princess went through all the trouble to find out which door the tiger stood behind and which door the lady waited behind. Since the commoner was accused of a crime, the law of the land is obviously that a commoner can’t secretly love the princess, so what he did was wrong. The princess knew this. If fate actually decides what happens to the accused, fate would know that he is guilty. Why would the princess tell her lover to go to the door that would’ve been chosen anyway, knowing the circumstances and what their justice system is like? She wouldn’t. If she went through all that trouble to find out which reward was behind each of the doors, she obviously wanted to change the inevitable, if the inevitable is what fate decided. The princess wouldn’t bribe someone for nothing. Another indirect reason why the princess chose the lady is the princess was debating the two options, and she can’t seem to get the tiger out of her mind. She starts thinking about the tiger first, then switches to the lady. The princess thinks about the lady for a little while, but after that she goes back to the tiger. When a person is worried about something, they usually cannot get it out of his or her head. The princess is having absolutely no problem thinking about the terrifying, horrific tiger. At the end of her thinking about the lady, she asks herself a question. She thinks, “Would it not be better for him to die at once, and go to wait for her in the blessed regions…” (Stockton 6). After questioning this, she thinks of the terrible shrieks and blood that would come with choosing the tiger. This shows that the princess thinks that it would not be better for him to die, and it shows that she chose the lady. She can’t get the

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