The first requisite of civilization... is that of justice. Sigmund Freud
In this tale, a king holds public trials of subjects accused of crimes. Their guilt or innocence is determined by chanceby having them open one of two doors and reveal whats behind it. A beautiful lady means innocence. A ferocious tiger means guilt. [End of Section]
Ambiguity is the quality that allows something to be interpreted in several ways. Ambiguity in a story allows for conflicting interpretations adds complexity makes the story seem more like real life
The ambiguous ending of The Lady, or the Tiger? may make the story linger in your mind for days or weeks. [End of Section] You may find yourself returning to the story again and again, answering the questions it poses differently each time.
When you read an ambiguous story, you may need to make inferences, or educated guesses, about the characters motivation. Think about what the narrator tells you about the characters what the characters do or say what you know about the way people act and think
As you read The Lady, or the Tiger? pay close attention to the kings daughter. [End of Section] Think about how her motives relate to other characters. Make inferences about the reasons for her behavior.
[End of Section] During the Middle Ages an accused persons guilt or innocence was often determined by a trial by ordeal. If the person was not hurt during a physical test, it was believed the accused was saved from harm by God and was therefore innocent. Those who were injured or killed were viewed as guilty. In this story, justice is determined in a similar way.
Make the Connection [End of Section] Did you ever have to make a choice between something that was good for you and something that was good for someone you cared about? Are you glad that you chose as you did? Jot down your thoughts about making this choice.
Previewing the Vocabulary dire adj.: terrible. retribution n.: punishment. fervent adj.: passionate. aspiring v. used as n.: seeking to gain; desiring. deliberation n.: careful thought, especially in making a decision.
1. After winning a soccer game, we feel exuberant. (example that helps define) Vocabulary: Using Context Clues Context clues help explain the meaning of a word. They can be synonyms, antonyms, or examples. 2. Once in dire shape, the business is now thriving. (antonym that contrasts) 3. We need impartial, or unbiased, jurors for the trial. (synonym that restates)
1. The cheaters had to face _________; they were suspended for three weeks. 2. Our instructors are _________ and pleasant. 3. _________ to finish college, she enrolled again and studied several hours every day. 4. It is too late if you havent yet _________ tickets. The performance is sold out. Vocabulary Activity: Using Context Clues Use context clues to complete each sentence. procured genial aspiring retribution retribution Aspiring genial procured [End of Section]
Frank R. Stockton (1834–1902) was born in Philadelphia and worked as as a wood engraver before beginning a career as a writer. He eventually became a successful author of works for adults and children. The Lady, or the Tiger? is his best-known story. More About the Writer [End of Section]