In “The Lady, or the Tiger?” by Frank Stockton, a woman, so distraught at the fact that she is losing her lover, ushers her love toward one of two doors. This door either contains a tiger, which will gruesomely maul him, or a woman who he is forced to take as his bride. The reader is led to believe that the woman points her lover to the door containing a ferocious tiger. A quote which supports the thesis that the princess had sent her lover to his doom is, “How often, in her waking hours and in her dreams, had she started in wild horror, and covered her face with her hands as she thought of her lover opening the door on the other side of which waited the cruel fangs of the tiger!” (Stockton 6). This quote illustrates how the hot-headed and semi-barbaric princess often dreams about sending her love to his doom rather than having to lose him to another girl. The princess thought that if she had lost him, then no one else has the right to have him. Additionally, “But how much oftener had she seen him at the other door!
How in her grievous reveries had she gnashed her teeth, and torn her hair, when she saw his start of rapturous delight as he opened the door of the lady! How her soul had burned in agony when she had seen him rush to meet that woman, with her flushing cheek and sparkling eye of triumph” (6). This quote also explains how much agony the princess would have to face if her lover were to open the door with his future wife inside. The princess, through her selfishness, was not willing to see the enlightened look on her lovers face when he saw his future bride exit the door. Furthermore, “Would it not be better for him to die at once, and wait for her to join him in the future?” (7). The princess thought that she could be rejoined in heaven with the young man who she had fallen in love with because she knew that her father would never allow her to be with him again on Earth. She believed in the afterlife and I believe that she thought that he would be happier in it. Through her love and troubles, the princess undoubtedly believed that she had chosen the correct end, yet beginning to her young lover’s life. Although the man’s consciousness on Earth may cease to exist, the princess whole-heartedly trusted she and him would spend eternity together in the afterlife.
Stockton, Frank. “The Lady, or the Tiger?” Adventures in reading Pegasus
Edition. Orlando: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1489. Print.