In the short story "The Lady or the Tiger?" by Frank Stockton, the narrator advises readers to make up their minds ''not as if the decision of the question depended upon yourself, but upon that...

In the short story "The Lady or the Tiger?" by Frank Stockton, the narrator advises readers to make up their minds ''not as if the decision of the question depended upon yourself, but upon that hot-blooded semi-barbaric princess.'' What do you think this advice means and why does Stockton include it? How can I focus on the meaning of the word Semi-barbaric, the description of the country's trial system as an example the kinds ''barbaric fancy'," and the description for the princess's passion for the young man?

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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At the end of the story, Stockton advises readers to not rely upon their own judgment as if they were in the position to influence the young courtier but to view the situation from the princess's perspective. By doing so, Stockton influences the reader to analyze the princess's personality, emotions, and motivation. Stockton is aware that most readers desire a happy ending and are not emotionally invested in the courtier's decision. He anticipates that readers would more than likely presume that the princess would save the courtier's life if her decision relied upon their judgement and morals. However, Stockton cleverly advises readers to analyze the princess's character and motivation, which suggests that she would more than likely steer the courtier toward the door with the tiger behind it.

Stockton makes it clear that the princess is "semi-barbaric" and refers to her as being "hot-blooded." He also elaborates on the princess's...

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kathik eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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