What is one non-verbal message that the princess sends to her lover?Frank R. Stockton's "The Lady, or the Tiger"

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Frank R. Stockton's "The Lady or the Tiger?" as the semi-barbaric princess sits with the power to allow her suitor to live or to send him into the jaws of the tiger, the lover looks up at her and she points with a slight movement of her hand. She indicates the right-hand door with this movement, and the lover does not hesitate; he chooses this very same door.

Now, the problem is that there is no conclusion, and the reader must decide whether the lover trusts that the princess indicates the safe door, or whether he believes that in her semi-barbaric jealousy she deviously points to the dangerous one so that he will counter her action, knowing that she has seen him with the other maiden.  Another complication that enters into both of their decisions is that if the princess does want him to live, he still will not return to her;, but will, instead, be married to the maiden behind the other door.  In this case, the princess could feel that her lover may as well die since she cannot have him, anyway.

Yet, despite all these considerations, the lover has not hesitated.  What does he know about her, what has he seen in her eyes?

Read the study guide:
The Lady or the Tiger?

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question