What kind of style does Stockton use in "The Lady or the Tiger?"

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are lots of different aspects of style that could be used to comment upon. One of these aspects that most impresses me when I read this story is the setting, and how this is used to support other aspects of style, such as the autocratic rule of the king and the grim justice that his method of trial yields.

Note how the story begins, and how it provides us with essential details regarding the setting:

In the very olden time, there lived a semibarbaric king, whose ideas, though somewhat polished and sharpened by the progressiveness of distant Latin neighbours, were still large, florid, and untrammeled, as became the half of him which was barbaric.

The reference to the "distant Latin neighbours" and then the detailed description that we are given about the arena with its many tiers, galleries and doors seem to be a deliberate allusion to the Coliseum in Rome, which was used for many different kinds of gladiatorial challenges involving animals for many years, and was very sophisticated in its time. This setting of course gives us an excellent background to the kind of themes of justice and power that are presented in the novel, and the "semibarbaric" king helps foreshadow the "semibarbaric" form of justice that is practised in this kingdom, and also prepares us for the ambiguous character of the princess.

You might also like to consider other aspects of style in your analysis such as the point of view, the structure of the story and the way that it could be compared to a kind of fairy tale. Hope this helps!

hklegion | Student

thank you very much. without this, i probably wouldn't have been able to understand the book. once again, thank you