Who Is Frank Stockton's The Lady Or The Tiger?

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In Frank Stockton’s short story, “The Lady or the Tiger?”, the princess chooses the tiger because of her semi-barbaric personality and her loathing of the lady. The narrator describes the princess as having a “moiety of barbarism in her nature” (271) and her father is also described as “semi-barbaric” (267). The world “barbaric” suggests that a person is extremely cruel and brutal, which leads the reader to infer that the princess has experienced much blood and gore in her life watching fights in the arena. Having experienced many cruel events in the past, seeing her lover killed would merely be another, more painful death in the arena. Since the princess truly loves the young man, the end result will be painful for her whether her lover opens the door to the tiger or the lady as he will either be killed or married to another woman.…show more content…
In addition to her semi-barbaric personality, the princess did “not only know in which room stood the lady ready to emerge… but she knew who the lady was… and the princess hated her” (271). Seeing how much the narrator emphasizes the princess’s dislike of the lady leads the reader to wonder if the princess could ever stand the thought of her lover being with another woman. In this case, the princess thinks that she is doing her lover a favor by preventing him from living a life with a woman that she despises. Furthermore, when the princess has visions of her lover opening the door to the lady, she “gnashed her teeth and torn her hair when she saw his start of rapturous delight as he opened the door of the lady”

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