The Kingdom Described In the Lady or the Tiger
The short story The Lady or the Tiger is quite captivating and keeps one on edge. This story is told through the third voice, and while reading it, one can tell that the narrator is well aware of the proceedings and even knows the end of it. The mystery in the story is quite baffling, and it is amazing how the author manages to maintain it at the same level. However, one thing that stands out in the story is how weakly developed the characters are. The shallow development of the characters was an important technique which further emphasized the mystery in the story. Guessing or preempting what will happen is hard, and readers are never actively involved in the story. The story’s setting is also another mystery because the Kingdom is ruled by a semi-barbaric king who rules the people through fear. The king had mastered the art of twisting the people’s minds and had managed to turn his desires into action. Instead of facing the complexities of responsibility that came with being king, he managed to avert them by making use of his court of chance. His daughter, on the other hand, embraced responsibility but it was almost impossible to understand her thought process. However, while the actions of the king and his daughter are quite pronounced, this article is about the kingdom as described in the story.
First of all, one can tell that the kingdom and its king had never been exposed to a different form of leadership. The king had borrowed some of the ways of his “distant Latin neighbors,” however, his dreams and desires took the best of him, and he tried to experiment different things. His subjects were also unexposed and therefore, never felt the need to challenge the king or his methods. Conforming was what was expected from the subjects, and anyone who failed to do so had to face judgment. The king treasured his methods of ruling and took pride in them because it helped to maintain the status quo and to instill fear in the people.
The king was indeed a tyrant and ruled like one, however, as is always the case, there is always a weak point. In this case, the weak point was the king’s daughter who despite inheriting some of her father’s wit, fell in love with a commoner. The king had never had his ruling or his methods challenged, but in this instance, his daughter’s love for a commoner threatened to break the norm. Like other ancient kingdoms, royalty had to be married to royalty, and the king expected no less from his daughter. However, the matters of the heart are never predictable, and the king soon found out this sad truth. While it is left for the reader’s to predict which door the man opened, it was clear that there existed cracks in the king’s plan and methods.
In the past, tradition was key to maintaining status quo and kingdoms thrived through tradition. Lines were drawn, and everyone was either expected to be in line or face the wrath of royalty. The kingdom in the lady or the tiger was one which thrived in instilling fear in people through the use of the king’s court of chance. Such methods were common in the past, but none was perfect.