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Did the tiger come out of the door, or did the lady?

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demonz | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 30, 2008 at 9:09 PM via web

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Did the tiger come out of the door, or did the lady?

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Michael Foster | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted August 31, 2008 at 2:11 AM (Answer #2)

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Ah, that's the question now, isn't it?  It makes the reader wonder, which was the intent of the author.  By not telling you the ending, he let you create your own (which is why this story is so often used in schools, to generate discussion and even as the source of a writing assignment to provide an ending).  All authors have ways of drawing the reader into the story and making him a co-creator in the story-telling process.  Some are subtle, some (like this) are really "out there."

Sometimes the author will give clues, allowing the reader to draw a reasonable conclusion.  Yet in "The Lady or the Tiger?" no such clues are given, which was deliberate on the part of the author.  Either one could have come out.  It is up to the reader to decide, .  Or else not decide, and wonder about for a long, long time....

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pmiranda2857 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 31, 2008 at 4:36 AM (Answer #3)

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After reading this story, it is my opinion, based on the text quote below that the young man chose the door with the Lady behind it. Here is why.  The Princess can't bear to see the young man die at her instruction.

"How her soul had burned in agony when she had seen him rush to meet that woman, with her flushing cheek and sparkling eye of triumph; when she had seen him lead her forth, his whole frame kindled with the joy of recovered life; when she had heard the glad shouts from the multitude, and the wild ringing of the happy bells; when she had seen the priest, with his joyous followers, advance to the couple, and make them man and wife before her very eyes; and when she had seen them walk away together upon their path of flowers, followed by the tremendous shouts of the hilarious multitude, in which her one despairing shriek was lost and drowned!" (Stockton)

The Princess has gone through a great deal to discover the identity of the two doors.  She loves the young man, but she knows that she can never marry him.  The author gives us much more detail about the Princess's reaction to the marriage of the young man and the lady. 

Even though she questions her decision, I think that she signaled him with the door where the lady stood,  because she loved him, and could not bear to lead him to his death.  She would be far more haunted by this idea, knowing that she was responsible for him being torn apart by the tiger.

 

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kk3391 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 10, 2009 at 7:04 AM (Answer #4)

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The lady came out.

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briiibabe | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 7, 2009 at 7:10 PM (Answer #5)

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we discussed in class. my teacher said no the tiger came out because the princess was soo jealous. thers proof in the story aparently. can u help answer my q?

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ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted November 7, 2009 at 8:03 PM (Answer #6)

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With all due respect, I think #3 needs to look at the quoted section of text more closely. " How in her grievous reveries had she gnashed her teeth, and torn her hair, when she saw his start of rapturous delight as he opened the door of the lady!" The princess did not want him to find happiness with anyone else. She had a barbaric nature, and she knew that the beautiful young woman had cast glances upon her lover, and she had perceived those glances to be returned. This would not been taken lightly, and it is safe to say it would probably not be forgiven. In addition, let us not forget the "savage blood" that coursed through her and the "barbaric" ancestry she came from, and the fact that she hated the woman behind the door. It would seem that due to her barbaric nature she would have not wanted her lover to find happiness with another woman, and so we could assume she guided him to the door with the tiger.

Now with all that being said, we are told also that her lover ". . . understood her nature. . .", so if that is true then perhaps he would know she might not want any other woman to have him, and he would choose the door opposite the one she directed him to. So if the lady came out, perhaps it was because he outwitted his barabic lover.

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yvgubhikjmk | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 10, 2009 at 3:39 PM (Answer #7)

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With all due respect, I think #3 needs to look at the quoted section of text more closely. " How in her grievous reveries had she gnashed her teeth, and torn her hair, when she saw his start of rapturous delight as he opened the door of the lady!" The princess did not want him to find happiness with anyone else. She had a barbaric nature, and she knew that the beautiful young woman had cast glances upon her lover, and she had perceived those glances to be returned. This would not been taken lightly, and it is safe to say it would probably not be forgiven. In addition, let us not forget the "savage blood" that coursed through her and the "barbaric" ancestry she came from, and the fact that she hated the woman behind the door. It would seem that due to her barbaric nature she would have not wanted her lover to find happiness with another woman, and so we could assume she guided him to the door with the tiger.

Now with all that being said, we are told also that her lover ". . . understood her nature. . .", so if that is true then perhaps he would know she might not want any other woman to have him, and he would choose the door opposite the one she directed him to. So if the lady came out, perhaps it was because he outwitted his barabic lover.

I think you and # 3 have some solid evidence. but i think you missed the part where it said that he went to the door on the right so he could not have outwitted her.

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quizmaster743 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 25, 2010 at 8:38 PM (Answer #8)

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Personally, I believe the tiger came out. The princess would not stand for him to be married to another woman, and would most likely rather have him killed than lose him. But then again... we can never really know for sure, now can we?

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illdancearoundyourass | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 2, 2010 at 2:59 PM (Answer #9)

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the tiger came out because if the princess REALLY loved him than she wouldn't have even considered the tiger. And she would rather have him killed because then they could be together after death. But thats just my opinion

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ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted April 18, 2010 at 6:59 PM (Answer #10)

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Think about this people. The story explains about her barbaric nature like her father’s. We are also told that her lover “knows” her true nature. If these things are true, the princess would have directed him to the door with the tiger, but her lover would have known that. Consequently, he would have chosen the door she did not indicate, and he and the beautiful girl would live happily ever after.

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kenzierawr | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 8, 2010 at 10:14 AM (Answer #11)

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Think about this people. The story explains about her barbaric nature like her father’s. We are also told that her lover “knows” her true nature. If these things are true, the princess would have directed him to the door with the tiger, but her lover would have known that. Consequently, he would have chosen the door she did not indicate, and he and the beautiful girl would live happily ever after.

In the story it says, "Her right arm lay on the cushioned parapet before her. She raised her hand, and made a slight, quick movement toward the right. No one but her lover saw her. Every eye but his was fixed on the man in the arena.

He turned, and with a firm and rapid step he walked across the empty space. Every heart stopped beating, every breath was held, every eye was fixed immovably upon that man. Without the slightest hesitation, he went to the door on the right, and opened it."

So her lover chose the door that she indicated, Frank Stockton tells us that much.

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Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 30, 2010 at 8:51 AM (Answer #12)

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Stockton, the author of the work, deliberately did not give us the "right" answer to this question.  Given that, we can guess and surmise and speculate; however, the answer is still, ultimately, a matter of opinion.

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it-only-gets-better | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 2, 2011 at 6:43 AM (Answer #13)

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Think about this people. The story explains about her barbaric nature like her father’s. We are also told that her lover “knows” her true nature. If these things are true, the princess would have directed him to the door with the tiger, but her lover would have known that. Consequently, he would have chosen the door she did not indicate, and he and the beautiful girl would live happily ever after.

With all due respect,  the author specifically says, "She raised her hand, and made a slight, quick movement toward the right." He also says, "Without the slightest hesitation, he went to the door on the right and opened it." Therefore, the lover of the princess could not have outwitted her.

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literarian | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 16, 2011 at 11:28 AM (Answer #14)

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Has anyone considered the amount of love the man had for the princess?  It could be that whether she chose the lady or the tiger is irrelevant to his decision.  In understanding her nature, he would realize how tortured she would be by either end result.

Most who consider this issue, (the princess included, it seems,) mistakenly assume that the man would, if awarded the lady, be so overcome by joy in having not been mauled to death that he would ride off gaily with his new bride and never think about the princess again.  I believe that if the man truly loved the princess, he would follow her indication regardless of knowing he could be surrendering himself to the tiger.  Perhaps he would rather die than know his love would have to endure the torture of seeing him married to another woman.

Then again, if she had chosen the lady, and he had arrived at the conclusion that she would, he would respect her decision as the one that she believed would bring her the least despair.

Whatever his fate, he must know that she would rather suffer the guilt of responsibility for his death or the pain of his marriage than the broken heart of betrayal in knowing that in the end, her lover had not trusted her, and in his could-be final moments had intentionally acted contrary to her desire.

While this goes nowhere in respect to answering the titular question, I believe it does add a necessary level of understanding when continuing your personal consideration.

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