Everyone who has read "The Lady or the Tiger?" by Frank Stockton loved the twist it gives at the ending. Leaving readers with many unanswered questions in hope that readers would interpret the ending by themselves.

The story takes place during ancient times where a half-barbaric king placed a suspected subject of his to trial when he was accused of a crime. The subject was found to have been having an affair with the king's daughter whom the king adored and cherish. Criminals and prisoners were tried in an arena where they were forced to choose between two doors; and whatever came out from behind the chosen door was the fate of the chooser. In this case, the subject was given the choices of a lady, whom he would marry if she was the one that came out from behind the chosen door, or a tiger who will tear him to shreds. If he was innocent, the lady would step out from behind the door. If he was not, the tiger will appear.

The princess, seeing that her lover had been accused of trying to court her, new which door stood the lady behind it; the fairest and loveliest woman selected for the accused young subject who the princess hated. She was jealous of the woman standing behind the door because she had seen the woman throwing glances at her lover before. She also thought that at sometimes those glances were also returned by her lover.

When it came to making the decision of which door the subject would choose, he let his fate be decided by the princess. She didn't want him marrying another woman nor did she want him to die. But with a pale face, she pointed towards the right door. Her lover then headed for the door she had chosen for him and opened it. From that point on, Stockton leaves his readers questioning whether the lady or the tiger came out from behind the closed doors.

After Stockton left his story with such a huge cliffhanger, I wanted to know who came out from behind the door the princess had chosen for him. I don't really like cliffhangers in stories because it just makes me feel as if it was incomplete. It made me wanted to read more. But sadly that was the end of the story. Though I would say that it made me think a lot about the characters; especially the princess. I tried going back and imagining myself in her shoes. What would I have done? Would I have wanted him to marry someone else or to let him die a horrible and painful death? Then I decided that the lady came out from behind the doors because I wouldn't have wanted him to die in front of me because of my own selfishness. Then again the princess might have been a cold-hearted person and as barbaric as her own father.

Why I really liked this story was because it was the first story I had ever read where it left me with such a thrilling ending. It let me be the decider of who came out from behind the doors. It also got me asking lots of questions that no other stories had given me. Being able to interpret my own ending made me feel like I was taking part of the story as well.

What did you think of the story? Who came out from behind the doors? The lady or the tiger? If you were the princess, would you have let your lover be married to a beautiful woman who you envied or let him be killed by the tiger?

 

 

*You can check out this post on my personal blog as well at Dream Fantasy Magnolia.*