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The princess was aware that she will be asked for help by her lover.
This intriguing story describes the brutal ways of a half-barbaric king in imputing justice, and the struggle of a princess to free her lover from awaiting doom.
The story takes the readers by surprise with a speculative end, leaving it to them to decide the outcome.
When the king discovers this affair, he turns livid and summons his soldiers to arrest the commoner and put him behind bars. In the meanwhile, he sends out his soldiers to find the most ferocious and dangerous man-eating tiger to be put behind one of the doors.
The softer side of him chooses one of the most beautiful maidens for the young man to be put behind the other door.
Until 1860, Stockton worked as a wood engraver and after his father's death took to writing again. Stockton (1834-1902), was published in The Century Magazine in 1882.
1867 saw Stockton's launch as a writer in his brother's newspaper and the publication of his very first fairy tale, Ting-a-ling. It was included as the title story in Stockton's 1884 collection of twelve stories.Let us find out more about the story...◆ The story is narrated in the third person addressing the readers directly. It begins with the narrator introducing a semi-barbaric king, semi-barbaric because he has a civilized Latin influence on his life.However, he unleashes his barbaric side by exercising an unusual system of justice on his people when found guilty of any crime.◆ This system of justice enthralled the audience as the fate of the accused was in his own hands.They loved the experience of sitting at the edge of their chairs to witness the outcome―freedom or death.◆ The story proceeds further with an interesting twist to it where the king's daughter―the princess―falls in love with a commoner.Whereas, the other door has a ferocious, hungry tiger behind it.The doors are identical, and this is what gives the story a nail-biting finish.The emotional upheavals of losing her lover to another woman or the tiger, brings out both sides to her nature.From the possessive, detesting side to a merciful, loving one, the princess's emotions are tossed from side to side like a storm causing the boat to rock from side to side.◆ Irony is present throughout the story.She had imagined the horror of the tiger eating her lover, and on the other hand, she was tormented by the thought of her lover marrying someone else whom she hated. However, it was in her power to decide to whom she would lose her lover.◆ The narrator describes the princess's anguish and dilemma from the time her lover was cast into prison.