The Lady or the Tiger

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The Lady, or the Tiger?
In Frank Stockton's The Lady, or the Tiger?, Stockton leaves it up to the reader to give the ending of his story. The young youth stood in the center of a larger arena and his faith was in the balances. Spectators rose steely on all sides awaiting his death. In front of him were two massive doors, behind one was a beautiful lady and the behind the other was a man-eating beast. The choice he made solely depended on a semi-barbaric princess, whose train of thought may have been different from that of a person who was sound of mind. The reader believes that the princess directs her lover to the open door with the tiger behind it because the princess is jealous, semi-barbaric, and she is afraid her pride will be hurt.

Jealousy can consume a person and alter their frame of mind. In the passage, the princess's and the youth's love was described to be very deep and intense. This kind of intensity may cause a person to experience temporary insanity. Her insanity may have been triggered by thoughts of him with another woman, which in fact she has probably seen him with frequently on many different occasions. For example, in the passage it says, "All the intensity of the savage blood transmitted to her through long lines of wholly barbaric ancestors, she hated the woman." In her rage she might have sent him to a fatal doom simply because she was too selfish to see her love with the fairest maiden in the kingdom.

Moreover, the princess's semi-barbaric way plays a key role in her decision. Being so fair and beautiful does not shadow the fact that she is her father's daughter. The king was a semi-barbarian, who took great delight and satisfaction in the shedding of innocent men's blood. His fervent and imperious ways were instilled in her since birth. Knowing the princess's nature, the king did not just happen to find out about their affair, it was planned. The fact was obvious; her choice in men was a perfect way to ride her of the youth. She...
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