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

In answer to queries about the ending of "The Lady, or the Tiger?," Stockton made the following comment: "If you decide which it was—the lady, or the tiger, you find out what kind of a person you are yourself." What do you think he meant by that?

How can a kingdom be "semi-barbaric?" What sort of practices would you consider barbaric? Are there instances in which it is okay to be barbaric?

Compare a short story by the American writer O. Henry, whose work is famous for trick endings, to "The Lady, or the Tiger?". Which story do you find more clever, and why?

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