The Lady Or The Tiger, - Literary Theories Analysis Assignment

934 words - 4 pages


In this short story, The Lady or the Tiger, written by Frank R. Stockton. The king
symbolizes how the operations of repression structure this piece of work. The king is presented
to the readers as a semi-barbaric king. He was known to be very cruel and savage since he is a
decedent of semi-barbaric parents. His parents were very abusive when he was just a kid, they
never allowed him to experience a normal childhood. They made his life so miserable which
explains why he decided to turn his arena as an entertainment center for his people. His people
either got a chance to watch a criminal get aggressively killed or watch a hilarious wedding. The
kings uncivilized lifestyle and traumatizing childhood is the cause of his unconscious defence
employed by his ego to keep disturbing or threatening thoughts from becoming conscious. He
never hesitated to know if the criminal is actually a criminal or not, the narrator says He did not
hesitate nor waver in regard to his duty in the premises (Stockton 2). This goes more into detail
on how heartless the king is and why everything he has is doing now is because of something
that happened in his past.

In this short story, the readers can spot an Electra complex between the king and the
princess. The princess wants to sexually possess a parent, but she can not possess her mother
because she is not in the picture. She wants to replace her mothers position so she can feel the
same affection a husband and wife would have, rather than a father and daughter relationship.
The princess tries to possess her father instead, where she develops unconscious sexual feelings
toward her father. The princess decides to pretend that she is in love with Courtier because she
knew it would make her father, the king jealous. Her father eventually found out about the affair
going on and immediately sent Courtier to prison. This sparks the princesss attention because
her plan was going the way she expected it too. The appointed day arrived and the narrator lets
the readers know how the princess is feeling her intense and fervid soul would not allow her to
be absent on an occasion in which she was so terribly interested (Stockton 2). So then, the
princess found out what is behind each door and she leads Courtier to the door with the tiger,
where he ends up getting killed and the princess can live happily knowing that her father would
do anything to not let her go. In conclusion, the princess went to a far extent, where she got
somebody killed just so she can feel the love and affection from her father.

The operations of ego, id ...

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