In the short story, "The Lady and the Tiger", what are some foreshadowing quotes from the story?

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Here are some quotes that foreshadow the story's ending.

The ending of the story is ambiguous.  It is not entirely clear whether the princess chose the lady or the tiger. However, there are some indicators which can point to each ending, if you follow the author's foreshadowing about the princess's character traits.

"Ambiguous" means that the author leaves the ending intentionally unclear.  In this case, the author wants the reader to decide which outcome he or she thinks is more reasonable. You have to analyze the princess’s motivations.  First, let’s examine the princess.

This semi-barbaric king had a daughter as blooming as his most florid fancies, and with a soul as fervent and imperious as his own.

First of all, she is described as having a soul that is “fervent” and “imperious.”  This is foreshadowing.  Basically, the author is telling us that she is passionate and used to getting her own way.  Now we just have to decide what she wanted.

This royal maiden was well satisfied with her lover, for he was handsome and brave to a degree unsurpassed in all this kingdom, and she loved him with an ardor that had enough of barbarism in it to make it exceedingly warm and strong.

Okay, so far, so good.  It seems like she loves him because he is handsome and brave.  However, this seems to be a fling.  He has “fineness of blood and lowness of station.”  It makes you wonder if some of the romance might wear off after a while.  This is hot and heavy for a few months, but was it designed to last?

We also know that the princess found out what was behind what door. 

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.

Does how she found the secret to the doors tell us what she would do with it?  Never in all of these instances in which she is describing the “trial” does she ever say that she loves him.  She is only ever “interested.”  I would say that foreshadows his doom.  She is surely jealous.  When she pictures him alive, it is not a happy thought.  She imagines him with another woman.  I think this man is doomed.

Although the ending to the story is not given to us, I think it is clearly foreshadowed what happened here.  She pointed to the door that had the tiger, and he thought it was the door that had the lady.  He thought she would save him, and she sent him to his death.  If she could not have him, no one else could have him.  She was done with him anyway.

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