What door do you think the young man opened in "The Lady or the Tiger?" What door do you think the young man opened?

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The young man has certain considerations:  The princess does love him, but she has seen him talking with a fair maiden and has become jealous as a result. And, she does have barbarism coursing through her blood. In addition, the princess knows the young woman who stands behind one door, a young coutier who has cast admiring looks at the young man many a time.

The girl was lovely, but she had dared to raise her eyes to the loved one of the princess; and, with all the intensity of the savage blood transmitted to her through long lines of wholly barbaric ancestors, she hated the woman sho bluched and trembled behind that silent door.

Yet, even though the young man knows that the princess is aware of who is behind the doors, when the princess indicates the door to the right, it is this same door that the young man chooses, also. He chooses the door to the right, the same that she has chosen because, he believes, she figures that he will think she is trying to trick him since she is jealous, so he will then choose the left door where lies the tiger.

When he chooses the right door, it should, then, be the one containing the fair maiden.

literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that this question really needs to be moved to the discussion section given this is one of the questions many students have pondered over the years.

One could justify either door in actuality. Readers know that the princess is semi-barbaric, like her father. Perhaps the thought of her lover being with another woman is simply too much for her to take and she believes it would best for him to die.

One could also justify that the princess loves her lover too much to bear the thought of his death. For that reason, she would have lead him to the door that the beautiful woman would have come out of.

In all actuality, Stockton never leads the reader in one direction or another. He simply leaves the answer up to the mind of the reader alone.

That being said, ones answer would depend solely upon their own barbaric nature.

I myself would like to see the lover and the princess together, but since I cannot, who can resit a good 'ol slaughter?

Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Since we do not have any way of definitively knowing--the author made sure of that--we are all free to speculate. Here's my guess: she told him to open the door with the princess so her lover would live. THEN she will, at some point in time (probably sooner rather than later) she will do away with the beautiful princess and have her lover to herself again.

lightykan | Student

i think he opened the door with the tiger ....because the character explained thet she is semibarbaric as her father and and wheen she think of other lady with his lover she pull her hair and become mad ....she never wants to see him with other lady .....he will be living happily with that lady whom she hates and she will be alone and sad.

cartoon | Student

i am just guessing

i suggest the lady

jazlyn | Student

The lady but nobody nows for sure

princess210 | Student

I think he open the door with the lady, because she would want to see him happy not dead

lacibabyy00 | Student

no one really knows the answer to this question because it was never said during the story.

msbeesley | Student

There is no right answer to this question!

Your teacher wants you to make an educated guess as to which door the young man opened.  You should include which door you think the young man opened and why you think the young man opened that door in your answer.

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The Lady or the Tiger?

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