two doorways with an elegant woman standing in one and a large tiger head in the other

The Lady, or the Tiger?

by Francis Richard Stockton

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Why was the ending of "The Lady, or the Tiger?" by Frank Stockton surprising?

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The ending of "The Lady or the Tiger" by Frank Stockton is surprising because we, the readers, are left to decide what happened. The story does not give us an answer, and we have no way of knowing whether our protagonist chooses the door leading to the lady or the door leading to the tiger. What we do know is that the princess loves our hero, but we also know that she despises the lady behind one of the doors. Does she love him more than she hates the lady? Will she be able to accept this lady as her love's new wife? As readers, most of us want a solid ending. We want to know whether our guy gets eaten or married, but we are not given that closure. Instead, we get to discuss the possibilities with our classmates and friends and decide for ourselves.

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