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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Topics for Discussion

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1. Discuss the concept of religious predestination versus free will as it relates to the roles of the king, the lover, and the princess in "The Lady or the Tiger?"

2. The fairy-tale kingdom in "The Lady or the Tiger?" is described as "semibarbaric." What sort of practices would you consider barbaric? Are there instances in which it is okay to be barbaric?

3. Cite other well-known examples of a "cliff-hanger" in literature, film, or television. What makes this type of ending particularly satisfying or unsatisfying?

4. The prince opens the door indicated by the princess "without the slightest hesitation." Can the reader be absolutely certain that he believes the lady is behind that door?

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