List one or two adjectives to describe the tone of "The Lady or the Tiger?" and explain your choice.

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D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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"Tongue-in-cheek" is the adjective that comes to mind to describe this story. A writer who uses a tongue-in-cheek tone doesn't really mean what he says.

For instance, the narrator states that the arena the king builds is "far better adapted to widen and develop the mental energies of the people" than the arenas erected so that people can watch "dying gladiators." The narrator is not being serious with that utterance, for the justice being meted out in this arena is just as barbaric as that in a Roman amphitheater.

Likewise, when the narrator calls the king's method of justice "impartial and incorruptible," he is again being tongue-in-cheek, because the justice done is completely arbitrary, with no attention paid to facts or evidence.

The narrator pokes fun at the language that reflects the thinking of the king in order to highlight the king's limitations and tyrannies. For example, we learn that the person accused of a crime, if he opened the right door and was deemed innocent,

was...

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