What is the tone of "The Lady or the Tiger?" by Frank Stockton and a quote to support it? 

Expert Answers info

D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write9,791 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

The tone of the story is ironic. Irony is saying the opposite of what you really mean. In reality, Stockton (or, more precisely, his narrator) is appalled with this king and the way he dispenses so-called justice. For example, in the opening, the narrator calls the king "semi-barbaric" when, in fact, the story will show he is wholly barbaric. Again, instead of calling this king a sociopathic tyrant, the narrator says the following:

He was a man of exuberant fancy, and, withal, of an authority so irresistible that, at his will, he turned his varied fancies into facts. He was greatly given to self-communing, and, when he and himself agreed upon anything, the thing was done. When every member of his domestic and political systems moved smoothly in its appointed course, his nature was bland and genial; but, whenever there was a little hitch, and some of his orbs got out of their orbits, he was blander and more genial still, for nothing pleased him so much as to make the crooked straight and crush down uneven places.

It is ironic to say he was a man of "exuberant fancy" and turned fancies into "facts;" what that means is he brutally enforced whatever silly whim occurred to him. It is also ironic to say that crushing dissent rendered him "blander and more genial still." In fact, such behavior showed him to be a harsh and cruel despot.

When the narrator says that through watching the displays of "valor" in the king's arena, "the minds of his subjects were refined and cultured," the narrator really means that through watching bloody displays of barbarism, the king's subjects'...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 544 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Kristen Lentz eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2012

write2,471 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial


mystical-rose95 | Student

it would be suspense really, because we are not told who he choses at the end of the story...and i guess it could also be fear, but as for a quote, i'm sorry but can't help there

check Approved by eNotes Editorial