In "The Lady, or the Tiger", how does the princess discover which of the two doors will hold the lady?

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ladyvols1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the short story “The Lady or The Tiger,” Stockton does not reveal to the reader how the princess discovers which door the lady is standing behind.  The author simply writes, “He saw, by that power of quick perception which is given to those whose souls are one, that she knew behind which door crouched the tiger, and behind which stood the lady. He had expected her to know it. He understood her nature, and his soul was assured that she would never rest until she had made plain to herself this thing, hidden to all other lookers-on, even to the king. The only hope for the youth in which there was any element of certainty was based upon the success of the princess in discovering this mystery; and the moment he looked upon her, he saw she had succeeded, as in his soul he knew she would succeed.”

literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator
While the posting above does not offer an answer according to the posted quote from the text, another quote from "The Lady or the Tiger?" offers a very different view. In the following quotes from the story, one can see that the Princess did, indeed, know about the doors and what they held.

And not only did she know in which room stood the lady ready to emerge, all blushing and radiant, should her door be opened, but she knew who the lady was.

All it took on the part of the Princess to gain this knowledge was gold and a little womanly intuition.

But gold, and the power of a woman's will, had brought the secret to the princess.


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The Lady or the Tiger?

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