The Lady , or The Tiger?
by Francis Richard Stockton
Birth Date: April 5, 1834
Death Date: April 20, 1902
1. Early life
Born in Philadelphia on 5 April 1834, Francis Richard Stockton (Frank R. Stockton) was the third son of William Smith Stockton and his second wife, Emily Drean Stockton. Since their first two children had died in infancy, he was the eldest living child. Stockton was a slight, frail boy who was born with one leg shorter than the other. His physical activities were limited during his youth, so he began creating lengthy stories. Often these tales were developed in his imagination for several days before he began to put them on paper.
2. Writing career
He became well known as a writer of stories for children, and of amusing books of which Rudder Grange (1879) is the best known. The Lady and the Tiger was also highly popular. Others are Adventures of Captain Horne, Mrs. Null, Casting Away of Mrs. Lecks and Mrs. Aleshine, The Hundredth Man, Great Stone of Sardis, Captain’s Toll-gate, etc. His work was very unequal in interest.
II. PLOT SUMMARY
"The Lady, or the Tiger" begins with a description of a semi-barbaric king who punishes criminals in a unique way. He has built an arena featuring two doors and the criminal must choose his own fate by selecting one of the two doors. Behind one door is a hungry tiger that will eat the prisoner alive and behind the other door is a beautiful lady who will be married to the accused on the spot. The people in the kingdom are very entertained by this.
The king has a beautiful daughter who secretly loves a young man who is a commoner. The king does not think the young man is good enough for his daughter so he sentences the young man to be put into the arena to choose a door.
The princess loves the young man and does...