Who came out of the door, the lady or the tiger, in "The Lady or the Tiger"?

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Stockton purposely created an open-ended story where the ending is ambiguous and the reader must decide for themselves whether the princess instructed the courtier to open the door with the lady or the tiger behind it. The reader is forced to view the situation from the princess's point of view and cannot rely upon their own judgment.

Most readers would instruct the courtier to open the door with the beautiful maiden behind it in order to complete the pleasant love story. However, Stockton cleverly portrays the semi-barbaric princess as an extremely jealous woman, who hates the beautiful maiden for having the opportunity to...

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