The Lamb Slaughter Essay Outline

Critical Evaluation – Lamb to the Slaughter Essay

738 WordsDec 21st, 20013 Pages

A tale of the unexpected is Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahl. The story has a twist in the tale ending in which a loving wife gruesomely murders her husband. Mr Patrick Maloney, a senior in the police force seemed a happy married man to his pregnant wife, Mrs. Mary Maloney. Mr Maloney comes home one night, shocking his wife with the news he is leaving her. Mrs. Maloney is in great shock, to a state that she kills her husband, with a frozen leg of lamb. In the end she gets away with it, unwittingly the police then destroy the evidence by eating the cooked lamb.

Mrs. Maloney is your normal housewife, she sits at home in suspense waiting for her prized husband to return home from work. Her relationship with her husband Patrick is…show more content…

Until his death he is a very cold and irritable person and it doesn't make you feel very sorry for him when he dies. As his wife is six months pregnant, he should be helping her not the opposite and the news he is leaving her now gives him no sympathy from the reader.

The murder takes place in the house of the Maloney's. The house adds to the unexpected scenario fro the action to take place. A murder so gruesome would usually take place in a cold, creepy and dark place, not in a warm, homely, family environment. The atmosphere of the house changes from inviting and friendly to a tense and uneasy place after the murder has taken place.

Mrs. Maloney gets away with the murder in the end. This caused by a revolting ending in which he police detectives eat the leg of lamb that was used to kill Patrick. The writer creates an unbelievable ending by making the story, up to the murder, set in a very normal family house. It is not somewhere you would associate with a morbid killing. The writer builds up an impression that the marriage may not be as good as it could be, and both were under strain not to release the tension onto each other.

This story is a tale of the unexpected and the main way it is achieved is by making the build up to the climax of the death seem so normal. I would not expect a happy married couple, in a warm, cozy house, to be the setting for such an evil, thrilling murder to take

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Character Analysis of Mary Maloney "Lamb to the Slaughter"

654 WordsJun 6th, 20133 Pages

Characterization is an important component in short story writing. In the short story "Lamb to the Slaughter" written by Roald Dahl, we are introduced to Mary Maloney, a pregnant housewife who recently found out that her husband is going to leave her. Mary develops into a very complex character as the events of the short story unfold. Mary is a typical housewife, waiting on her husband hand and foot. She loves him dearly, but as the short story unfolds, we see that he does not share the same feelings. Mary, unable to handle the rejection, lashes out and kills her husband. We then see Mary’s character transform before our eyes and the once loving, dutiful housewife becomes a very devious, manipulative and cold hearted character. She manages…show more content…

Mary is very manipulative in that she is able to create the character of the poor, pregnant wife, whose husband has just been murdered. She is able to convince the police to take pity on her, to mix her a drink and then to even eat the evidence, the leg of lamb that she has left in the oven. "Why don’t you eat up that lamb that is in the oven" (Dahl, p. 17). Mary realizes that if the police find the evidence she will go to jail. Her quick thinking and manipulative character results in the police officers eathign the evidence and therefore she cannot be charged of this crime. These actions show the complex character that Mary Maloney truly is.
Throughout the entire story, Mary is a very interesting character. She faces many issues in dealing with her husband’s news that he is leaving her. She reacts based on her instincts and kills her husband and this shows her cold heartedness. In the end she has to create an alibi to cover up her devious crime in which she has to manipulate the police into eating the evidence. Mary is a very unique complex character and she has, through her actions conducted a devious crime in which she will be proven innocent. Through the use of Many Maloney’s character, as well as irony and suspense, the author was able to maintained the interest of the reader throughout the entire short story.

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