This is the huge question imposed upon us in the short fictional story, The Lady or The Tiger? (1882) by Frank R. Stockton. It’s a story about a semi-barbaric king who takes pride in his unusual way of proving…
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The said king doted on his beautiful daughter who is just like him in her semi-barbaric ways. Sadly, there came a day when the princess had to stand beside the king and watch her lover, a commoner, show his guilt or innocence for falling in love with the princess. Inconspicuously, the princess signaled the young man to the right door; but, will the princess allow him to be married to another woman or will she just let him die by the fangs of the vicious tiger? This essay will weigh the pros and cons on whether the princess directs her young lover to the lady or the tiger. I conclude that when he opens the door, he will find the tiger.
There is a possibility that the princess guided her young lover to the door of the lady because of her fervent love for him. As Stockton has written, “This royal maiden was well satisfied with her lover, for he was handsome and brave to a degree unsurpassed in all this kingdom, and she loved him with an ardor that had enough of barbarism in it to make it exceedingly warm and strong” (2). That young man is the love of her life and she wouldn’t be able to bear seeing him perish so tragically.
Love is a true mystery. It can make someone do unfathomable things. Someone who is in love can and will do anything for the one he/she loves, even at the expense of losing everything: wealth, family, and honor, as long as the beloved person stays. In this case, the princess made use of all her effort, money, and influence to get her hands on the closely guarded secret of the doors; even jeopardizing herself and her relationship with her father, the king. She did all these to save her young lover from certain death. Of course, she wouldn’t want to lose him forever.
But, she can see that the love of her life is not hers alone. The lady behind one of the closed doors, anxiously waiting and hoping for the young man to open the door
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