What can you say about Stockton's short story, "The Lady or the Tiger?"

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Stockton's "The Lady or the Tiger?" is a good story to learn about ambiguity and inference because the ending is not clear. The princess gets caught by her father, the king, dating a man without his permission. The man is thrown into prison and later sent to the arena to choose between two doors. Behind one is a man-eating tiger and behind the other is a beautiful young woman who will be his bride. Under no circumstances will the man be able to marry the princess, though. The man's fate is either to marry a beautiful woman he probably does not know, or die a gruesome death. The princess, however, discovers which door the young woman will be waiting behind. She also knows the lady from her court and actually hates her; so, the trial becomes really one for the princess. Should the princess send her lover to his death or allow him to marry a woman she despises?

"The only hope for the youth. . . was based on the success of the princess in discovering this mystery; and the moment he looked upon her, he saw she had succeeded. . . Then it was that his quick and anxious glance asked the question: 'Which?' It was as plain to her as if he shouted it from where he stood."

The story does not explicitly say which end the boy receives. The story ends ambiguously; hence, the reader must infer, based on textual evidence, which door the princess would advise her lover to open.

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