[2015] Rachel Varghese: The Lady or The Tiger?

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[2015] Rachel Varghese: The Lady or The Tiger?

The Monkey's Paw and The Lady or The Tiger? are both similar and different. Both stories did not end well for the characters, and both had to make tough decisions in the end. In the Monkey's Paw, the couple did not gain anything they wanted from making wishes. Instead, their lives were put into misery over their death of their son. '"long loud wail of disappointment and misery from his wife gave him courage to run down to her side, and then to the gate beyond. The street lamp flickering opposite shone on a quiet and deserted road."' This quote from the story shows the devastation that the couple has gone through. In The Lady or the Tiger?, the princess has to go through a tough decision at the end. Either choice she makes will cause her lover to slip away from her. In this decision, she need to decide if her lover should stay alive, but go to another woman, or dead. '"Would it not be better for him to die at once, and go to wait for her in the blessed regions of semi-barbaric futurity? And yet, that awful tiger, those shrieks, that blood!"' This quote from the story shows how diffucult the decision is. Both stories have differences as well. In the Monkey's Paw the conflict is the consequences for changing fate, while in The Lady or the Tiger? the princess has to overcome jeaulosy and make a choice. '"If you must wish," he said gruffly, "wish for something sensible." ' This quote from The Monkey's Paw shows that to be cautious for what you wish for, because things that you want might not look as great as they appear. '" Her decision had been indicated in an instant, but it had been made after days and nights of anguished deliberation."' This quote from The Lady or the Tiger? shows that the princess's jeoulousy and her despair makes it very hard to make a decision.

This story is given in a third-person omnisient point of view. The narrator talks to us We could tell that it is this point of view, because in the story, the narrator referred to one of the princess's thoughts'. ' "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!" ' This quote shows that the narrator knows what she is thinking.


This story is about love and jealousy. The main conflict is the choice of love over jealousy or vice versa. This is an internal conflict. "Her decision had been indicated in an instant, but it had been made after days and nights of anguished deliberation." This quote from the story shows how difficult it must be to choose a fate of a person. In the beginning of the story, the narrator explains the way and personality of the king, and the kingdom's lifestyle. When the princess was first spoken of in the story, the love affair between the princess and a courtier was introduced. Soon, the king found out about this, and the courtier was immediatly put into jail. The king was eager to get rid of him according to story. "No matter how the affair turned out, the youth would be disposed of, and the king would take an aesthetic pleasure in watching the course of events, which would determine whether or not the young man had done wrong in allowing himself to love the princess." During the wait for the trail, the princess acquired information about which doors would hold what. She also knew what lady would be behing the door. It was a beautiful lady, but was despised by the princess very much. She hated the thought of the woman to be with her lover. This caused jealousy to enter her heart, and might have affected the decision she made. At the end, she motioned for one of the doors to her lover in the stadium. The door that she chose is unknown, and according to the author, the decision would be our choice.


Rachel Varghese

The main characters in this story include the king and his daughter. The king is a very barbaric king. The narrator describes him as ' "whose ideas, though somewhat polished and sharpened by the progressiveness of distant Latin neighbors, were still large, florid, and untrammeled, as became the half of him which was barbaric." ' This quote gives us the idea of how barbaric the king is. To give an example, he made a way to judge criminals by pure luck.The king's daughter has more of a heart than the king, but still has barbarism in her. "This semi-barbaric king had a daughter as blooming as his most florid fancies, and with a soul as fervent and imperious as his own." In this quote we see that the princess still has a soul of the king. Even with her own lover's life at stake, she still thought about which door she should give to him. Jeoulousy makes the princess very possesive of her lover, and thought about the possibility of telling him to open the door with the tiger behind it, so no one could have him. However, she still cares about his life and is afraid to see him die.


Point of View

Compare and Contrast

The mood of this story is barbaric and intense. "Among the borrowed notions by which his barbarism had become semified was that of the public arena, in which, by exhibitions of manly and beastly valor, the minds of his subjects were refined and cultured." This shows the intensity of this kingdom. Under the role of the barbaric king, the kingdom is very behaved, with some crimes here and there. To top it all, the crimes that occur are judged by pure luck. Two doors, one good and the other bad.


The theme of this story is about making your decisions wisely, and also overcoming jealousy. With this in mind while we read the story, we see that the princess tries to overcome her darkest nightmares, with the right decision. She has to overcome her jealousy in order to see what is the right path. Even though in the end the door that has been opened was not revealed, the story hints that jealousy and hate can cloud your mind and stop you from thinking what is right. "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!" This description of her possible reaction, shows that jealousy can change you into a completely different person.



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