How did the princess discover what was behind both doors in "The Lady or the Tiger" by Frank R. Stockton?

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In the story, the princess was said to have possessed "more power, influence, and force of character than any one who had ever before been interested in such a case." She had power because she was the king's daughter, great influence because of her position in society, and an implacable will because of her proud ancestry.

The text documents for us the princess' strong will, which is her heritage from her "semi-barbaric" father; even in love, her "ardor" for her lover had contained "enough of barbarism in it to make it exceedingly warm and strong." In essence, no citizen of her father's kingdom would have dared to thwart the princess' will, if her purpose was to discover what was behind each door.

The text also tells us that "gold, and the power of a woman's will, had brought the secret to the princess." This references the fact that the princess had likely bribed the necessary parties to reveal to her what lay behind each door. Either way, her payment in gold certainly allowed her to gain access to the inner sanctuaries of the tribunal, whose decisions regarding each trial were "positively determinate" and indisputable.

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pharise | Student

There are two telling lines in the story to indicate how the princess found out. First it is written, "Possessed of more power, influence, and force of character than any one who had ever before been interested in such a case, she had done what no other person had done - she had possessed herself of the secret of the doors." The princess had power, influence and force." She was like her father, semi-barbaric and whenever he wanted something, it came to be. It could be said the same about his daughter. With her power and influence, she was able to speak to the right people and get them to tell her which door held which. Also, in this line, "But gold, and the power of a woman's will, had brought the secret to the princess." This also lets us know that the princess paid someone with gold to find out the secret, along with the power of a woman's will, which could be said to be unstoppable. With her power and influence, she was able to learn the fate behind both doors.