What are the three major conflicts in "The Lady or the Tiger"?

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katemschultz's profile pic

katemschultz | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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The main conflict in the story is between the princess and herself. Should she betray her lover and send him to his death or allow him to be married to someone else, and allow herself to live in jealousy and self-consciousness for the rest of her life?

Another conflict is between the suitor and the princess and the king. The king dislikes that the suitor is not royalty, but the princess and the suitor believe that it shouldn't matter in the face of love.

The last conflict that I would consider would be an internal conflict of the suitor--should he listen to the princess or choose the door she doesn't point to?

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mercut1469 | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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In literature there are both external and internal conflicts. An external conflict involves a person against some outside entity such as another person, nature, or society. An internal conflict involves a person struggling with themselves over opposing choices, needs, or emotions. In Frank Stockton's short story "The Lady or the Tiger?" there is one external conflict and two internal conflicts. The story involves an arena where an accused person has the choice of two doors, one of which means certain death while the second holds life and marriage. The accused has an immediate internal conflict in his choice of doors. If he chooses correctly he is promptly married and might actually live happily ever after. On the other hand, if his choice is poor, he is immediately attacked and killed by a hungry tiger. Obviously this choice would cause a great deal of anxiety within the accused.

The second conflict in the story is best labeled man vs. man. The king discovers that his daughter has a lover who is far below her in social stature. Therefore the king seeks to dispose of the young man and so condemns him to the arena where he will either be killed, or married to another young woman and thus unavailable to the princess.

Finally, the princess, who is described as passionate and "semi-barbaric," seems to experience an internal conflict because she has been able to determine from which door would emerge the tiger and which door the lady. She can point to the door with the tiger and have her lover killed so he can never be possessed by another woman. Alternately, she can show mercy and point him to the door with the lady. Either way she will lose him forever and her decision is so monumental that Stockton leaves it up to the reader to decide how the princess finally will resolve her conflict.

lacibabyy00's profile pic

lacibabyy00 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 2) Honors

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Relationship between the kings daugther and the commner was discovered by her father.The princess knew what was behind each door and she signaled him with her eyes on which door he should open. He was about to ethier be eaten by a tiger or be married off to another women

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myriah | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

The three major contacts in the story

1st:The relationship between the kings daugther and the commner was discovered by her father

2nd: The princess knew what was behind each door and she signaled him with her eyes on which door he should open 

3rd:He was about to ethier be eaten by a tiger or be married off to another women

 

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