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Lamb to the slaughter.

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                                                    After reading the short story "Lamb to the slaughter" by Roald Dahl, I have been asked to answer the question, "what is Roald Dahl's view of women presented in the short story "Lamb to the slaughter"?.              The plot of this story is pretty simple. There is a nice young woman called Mary Maloney. Mary is represented as a quiet, timid young woman who is expecting a baby. She lives with her husband Patrick, who is a police detective.              One day, Patrick comes home from work in a very strange mood and tells Mary something awful. Mary reacts with anger and in a blind rage directed at this news she kills Patrick with a leg of lamb. Mary then manages to conceal her crime from Patrick's work colleges who are investigating his death. Ironically, the officers, feeling pity for Mary's loss eat the evidence. The leg of lamb was eaten and so they have no murder weapon.              In the beginning of the story, Dahl represents Mary as a content housewife, loving wife and soon to be mother. Dahl represents her relationship with her husband as a loving devoted one with images of Mary's life revolving around this relationship, ".Merely to please herself with the thought of each minute gone by made it nearer the time when he would come home", this suggests that Mary is longing for her husband to come home and for his company. Dahl emphasises Mary's devotion to her husband by writing about the two drinks that were laid out waiting for them to enjoy together. Mary keeps watch of the clock in anticipation of her husband's arrival. This anticipation is heightened at the same time "when the clock said ten minutes to five she began to listen, and a few moments later, punctually as always, she heard the tyres on the gravel outside and the car door slamming-.              Patrick is represented as a happy, content man who changes when some incident occurs. This incident is the precursor to Mary killing her husband. After the murder my view of Mary changed.

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Essays Related to Lamb to the Slaughter

1. lamb to the slaughter.

essay about lamb to the slaughter

Lamb To The Slaughter A method that an author chooses to develop his/her character, is a very important element in a story. In "Lamb to the Slaughter," Roald Dahl, effectively develops the protagonist both directly and indirectly; however, the use of indirect characterization is more dominant because it reveals her actions and how she deals with her conflict, her words, and creating a dynamic character with her words, and her personality. ... She " simply walked up behind him and without any pause she swung the big frozen leg of lamb and brought it down as hard as she could- (111). ... -Yes...

  • Word Count: 627
  • Approx Pages: 3

2. Irony in Lamb to the Slaughter

essay about lamb to the slaughter

In the short stories, "Lamb to the Slaughter- by Roald Dahl and "By the Waters of Babylon- by Stephen Vincent Benét we have fine examples of irony. ... In "Lamb to the Slaughter-, "There was a great deal of hesitation among the four policemen, but they were clearly hungry, and in the end they were persuaded to go into the kitchen and help themselves."" ... In "Lamb to the Slaughter-, "She loved to luxuriate in the presence of this man Mary Maloney simply walked up behind him and without any pause she swung the big frozen leg of lamb high in the air and brought it down as hard as she co...

  • Word Count: 634
  • Grade Level: High School

3. Comparing The Two Stories "The Adventures Of The Speckled Band" And "The Lamb To The Slaughter"

essay about lamb to the slaughter

"The lamb to the slaughter" was written in 1952 by Roald Dahl most famous for writing children's stories although he did write adult material such as the book "The lamb to the slaughter featured in "The tales of the unexpected". ... "The Lamb to the Slaughter" is written in third person told by an onlooker. ... The lamb to the slaughter has a lot shorter snappier sentences leaving room for imagination. ... In the lamb to the slaughter Mary Maloney is described in the most detail. ... I personally preferred The Lamb to the Slaughter because it was much more understandable therefore more en...

  • Word Count: 1689
  • Approx Pages: 7

4. Suspense Techniques in Lamb to the Slaughter

essay about lamb to the slaughter

In "Lamb to the Slaughter," by Roald Dahl, suspense plays a very significant role in tying the story together, as well as making it flow smoothly. ... In "Lamb to the Slaughter," it is hinted that the relationship between Mary and Patrick is tense. ... Dahl used uncertainty in his story "Lamb to the Slaughter", to create an uneasy feeling for the reader. ... One police man says "...probably right under our very noses," (18), as they were eating the lamb leg that had killed Patrick. The readers all know that the leg of lamb was the instrument used by Mary to kill Patrick, whereas the ...

  • Word Count: 724

5. Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahl

essay about lamb to the slaughter

Love and Passion At the beginning of "Lamb to the Slaughter, Mary Maloney feels love and physical passion for her husband Patrick. ... POINT OF VIEW 3rd Person Point of View Evidence: "Lamb to the Slaughter" is written in a 3rd person, limited point of view. ... "Why don't you eat up that lamb that is in the oven?" ... I got a nice leg of lamb from the freezer." ... Why don't you eat up that lamb that's in the oven. ...

  • Word Count: 2792
  • Approx Pages: 11

6. Analysis of Lamb to the Slaughter

essay about lamb to the slaughter

In Roald Dahl's Short story "Lamb to the Slaughter," set in the early twentieth century, a murder is brewing. ... As if she were a robot, she went down into the basement and picked a leg of lamb to cook for supper. ... The theme begins to arise with Mary striking Patrick over the head with the leg of lamb. ... When he returned to the living room she urged him and the other detectives to eat the leg of lamb, "It"ll be cooked just right by now." ... As they ate the lamb the detectives discussed the murder mystery. ...

  • Word Count: 552

7. lamb to the slaughter

essay about lamb to the slaughter

"Lamb to the Slaughter" Essay A loving caring wife is what every man wants, and that wife is Mary Maloney. ... And then finally she kills her husband with a leg of lamb. ... And then kills him with the frozen leg of lamb. ... "At this point, Mary simply walked up behind him and without any pause she swung the big frozen leg of lamb high in the air and brought it down as hard as she could on the back of his head". ...

  • Word Count: 962
  • Approx Pages: 4

8. The Role of the Plot Twist

essay about lamb to the slaughter

This is also seen in the scene of "Lamb to the Slaughter", where Mary Malone's husband asks her to sit down because he needs to speak to her of something important. ... An example of this is also shown in "Lamb to the Slaughter", when Mary Maloney is told by her husband that he is going to leave her. ... In "Lamb to the Slaughter", author Roald Dahl makes an interesting twist when Mary Maloney, protagonist of the story, finds herself being the murderer of her own husband using a leg of lamb. ... This work connects to the idea found in "Lamb to the Slaugh...

  • Word Count: 1463
  • Approx Pages: 6
  • Has Bibliography

9. The Passover

God tells Moses and Aaron to be ready and to tell the people to get some lambs and to put it on their doorframe. ... Because God was going to go to Egypt at midnight, and if the people didn't have the lamb's on the door, their firstborn child will die. ... But if you had the lamb's on the door then you and your family will not be harmed. ... Everyone was to get a lamb or goat and take care of it for fourteen days. On the fourteenth day they were to slaughter it and roast it's head, legs, and it's insides. ...

  • Word Count: 357
  • Approx Pages: 1

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Lamb To The Slaughter Essay

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Senjuti Gupta

Lamb to the Slaughter

‘Lamb to the Slaughter’ is about a wife, Mary Maloney, who loves her husband very dearly, at first, then ultimately kills him, due to him leaving her for an unknown reasons.

The title “Lamb to the Slaughter” is effective as it is a familiar saying.  The literal meaning is to kill the innocent; or that the victim is led to death.  The figurative meaning is that someone may be killed; or someone is going to kill another. This creates tension, as the reader prepares for something awful to happen, and also later in the story, we find out that the ‘leg of lamb’ is the murder weapon used to kill, and that the writer is referring one of the characters as an innocent ‘lamb’.

In the beginning part of the story, the writer mostly concentrates on the wife, Mary Maloney.  “Two table lamps alight – hers and the one by the empty chair opposite.  Behind her, two tall glasses, soda water, whisky.  Fresh ice cubes in the thermos bucket.  Mary was waiting for her husband.”  The first impression we get of Mary is that she loves her husband dearly, as the house is clean and neat, and that she has made the extra effort to make him feel comfortable when he gets home, by getting everything prepared therefore he can relax.

The writer has written the setting like a pleasant, warm house, for us to get the impression that Mary is a loving wife, and also, the writer has done this to make the readers be biased to like her, therefore part with her when the husband leaves.

In the next paragraph, the writer continues the wife’s devotion for her husband - “She would glance up at the clock, but without anxiety, merely to please herself with the thought that each minute gone by made it nearer the time when he would come.”  This conveys that the wife loves her husband greatly, and is excited when he comes home.

The writer now concentrates on Mary’s appearance.  “Her skin – for this was her sixth month with child – had acquired a wonderful translucent quality, and the eyes, with their new placid look, seemed larger, darker than before”.  This reveals that Mary is pregnant, conveying that the wife and husband must love each other very much and also establishes that she is faithful to him.  By describing Mary’s face, my impressions are that she is a loving wife and by mentioning the eyes, it links to an innocent lamb, as her eyes are big and tranquil.

In the next paragraph, “When the clock said ten minutes to five, she began to listen, punctually as always, she heard the tyres on the gravel outside, the footsteps passing the window, the key turning in the lock.”  This conveys that the wife’s devotion is out of proportion as she comes close to obsession.  It possibly conveys that she longs to see her husband.  It seems that her senses are geared whenever the husband comes home.

It is important to convince us that Mary Maloney is devoted and unsuspecting at first, as this will make it easier to sympathise and side with her rather than the husband; as the husband decides to leave her.

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The story now continues with speech between Mary and her husband.  “‘Hullo darling’ she said.  ‘Hullo,’ he answered.”  This conveys that the wife is being affectionate towards her husband as she uses the word ‘darling’.  However, the husband doesn’t return the affection back, as there is no endearment from him.

The first impression of Mr. Maloney is that he is a hard, serious man, with no affection towards his wife.  This conveys that there is a contrast between Mr and Mrs Maloney.  Mrs Maloney is openhearted, loving and conversational, whereas Mr Maloney is held-back and uneasy.

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The writer emphasises Mary’s contentment by saying that “She loved to luxuriate in the presence of this man, and to feel that warm male glow that came out of him to her when they were alone together.”  This conveys a clear statement of how much she loved her husband.  Mary pays a lot of attention to what the husband does – e.g. “she loved him for the way he sat loosely in his chair, or moved slowly across the room with long strides.”  This conveys that she loves him very much, as she concentrates on him all the time, noticing what he does.

Now, tension starts to mount, as they both drink in silence, however, Mary tries to start a conversation, but miserably fails.  “‘Tired, darling?’ ‘Yes, I’m tired.”  This conveys that something may be wrong; as Mr Maloney speaks in monosyllabic words throughout the paragraph; e.g. ‘Yes’, ‘No’, ‘Sit down’.  Also again, there is no endearment from Mr Maloney, conveying now that he definitely doesn’t show any affection towards his wife.

The writer focuses on drink (alcohol) several times throughout the story.  He does this to create tension, as some people depend on alcohol when they are avoiding, panicking or even feeling uncomfortable about something.  This causes tension as Mr Maloney “lifted his glass and drained it in one swallow.  He got up and went slowly to get another” this possibly conveys that Mr Maloney is also feeling uncomfortable, as he tries to finish it as soon as possible.  This time he wants another drink, but stronger; this may be sending signals that something is wrong.

The last parts of page 15, is where anxiety increases, as Mary digresses on, as she feels uncomfortable by the silence because he doesn’t respond.  Mary obsesses about him and keeps going on – “if you’re too tired to eat out, its not too late.  There’s plenty of meat and stuff in the freezer, and you can have it right here, and not even move” Mary tries her very best to get him to feel comfortable and open-up, but still, there is no response from him.  This conveys that Mr Maloney may feel suffocated by Mary, as she doesn’t let him do anything, and that she is always with him, all the time.

On page 16, “I’ll get you some cheese and crackers first.  ‘I don’t want it,’ he said.”  Mary still insists on making Mr Maloney something.  “She moved uneasily in her chair, the large eyes still watching his face.”  This may suggest that Mary may be getting emotionally prepared for something awful.  The writer has cleverly gone back to Mary’s large eyes, as this reminds us of the innocence – the lamb.

Mary keep things moving by making Mr Maloney eat something.  “But, darling, you must  eat! I’ll fix it anyway, and then you can have it or not, as you like.”  This conveys that Mary may be insisting to avoid what Mr Maloney is about to say.  “‘Sit down,’ he said. ‘Just for a minute, sit down.”  This builds suspense, as Mary and the readers are about to find something out.

As we come closer and closer to find out what has happened, the writer obtains detail from Mr Maloney’s expression to build more tension. “He had become absolutely motionless, the lamp beside him fell across the upper part of his face, leaving the chin and mouth in shadow.”  This creates the minute detail to create the further emphasis on tension; and the short, sharp sentences are used to build up the distress and anxiety.

In the next paragraph, the secret is let out.  “And he told her… So there it is” It is very clever for the writer to withhold the reason why Mr Maloney is leaving Mary, as this increases tension, because it gives us the reason to speculate; and guess why he is leaving her.

Mr Maloney doesn’t care for Mary, as he says, “Of course I’ll give you money and see that you’re looked after. But there needn’t really be any fuss. I hope not anyway.  It wouldn’t be very good for my job.”  This gives us very negative impressions about Mr Maloney, that he is a cold-hearted, self-centred man; and everything we have been told about Mr Maloney, has made us biased against him to dislike him.

In the following page, the writer involves us into Mary’s mind, and what she is going through at these points.  In the next paragraph, “She herself had imagined the whole thing…” Mary has a typical and realistic reaction to shock, as she tries to reject it all and pretend that nothing ever happened.  Mary has a physical reaction to the shock, as she “couldn’t feel her feet touching the floor.  She couldn’t feel anything at all – except a slight nausea and a desire to vomit.”  The writer establishes that Mary is on ‘automatic-pilot’, as she seems to be carrying on as normal, as if she was programmed.  This builds tension, as we don’t know what Mary is going to do next.

In the next sentence, the writer increases anticipation by keeping Mary in ‘automatic pilot’, as she heads “to the cellar, then to the deep freeze and the hand inside the cabinet taking hold of the first object it met.

A leg of lamb.” The writer has put ‘a leg of lamb’ by itself to make obvious that it is the murder weapon.  Also, it creates irony, as the ‘lamb’ relates to everything in this story – Mary, as she is left by the cruel husband, or maybe the husband could be the lamb, as he could have felt suffocated by the wife.

In the next paragraph, Mary “carried it upstairs, holding the thin bone-end of it with both hands and as she went through the living room, she saw him standing over by the window with his back turned to her, and she stopped.”  The writer maintains the suspense by describing the ‘leg of lamb’ as a hard bat or club, as she carries it in a way o protect herself – ‘thin-end with both hands’.  The writer foreshadows that the murder is going to take place, as he has already described the ‘leg of lamb’ as a club that can kill anybody.

In the next sentence, Mr Maloney says “‘For god’s sake,’ he said, hearing her, but not turning around, ‘don’t make supper for me. I’m going out.”  This conveys that Mr Maloney doesn’t even care that he has left her, and is very disrespectful, as he doesn’t even turn around.  The writer sustains the tension, as we don’t know whether Mary is going to hit him or not.

At that moment, Mary commits the murder “Mary Maloney simply walked up and without any pause, swung the big frozen leg of lamb high in the air and brought it down as hard as she could on the back of his head.”  The writer still maintain tension throughout; as we don’t know what Mary is going to do now with the body – if she is going to call the police, prepare a plan, or get arrested? However, the writer still keeps us sympathising with Mary, as Mr Maloney had left her, and also Mary had committed a crime of passion, therefore she didn’t plan it.

In the sentence “She might just as well have hit him with a steel club.”  This suggests how lethal a leg of lamb can be, and that she virtually just killed him.

After this, Mary begins to think very fast.  “As the wife of a detective, she knew quite well what the penalty would be. That was fine. Made no difference to her. On the other hand, what about the child? What were the laws about murderers with unborn children…”? This creates tension, as Mary is jumping to conclusions and getting anxious, but nevertheless, we still empathise with her, as she doesn’t care what happens to her – she is only worrying about how to protect her unborn baby and “she wasn’t prepared to take a chance” therefore, she had to get away with the murder.  This creates increasing tension, as we find out whether she gets away with it or not.

To get rid of the murder weapon, Mary “carried the meat into the kitchen, placed it into a pan, turned the oven on high, and shoved it inside.  She washed her hands and ran upstairs” This establishes tension now, as Mary got rid of the murder weapon, therefore there is no proof or evidence to show that Mary is the killer.

On page 18, Mary has an internal dialogue, as she tries to figure out what to do.  She intends going out to buy some ‘potatoes’ and ‘peas’.  The writer builds tension in the mirror scene, as Mary practices how to communicate to anyone, without them suspecting anything.  “Hullo Sam…I want some potatoes please, Sam and a can of peas.”  This shows that Mary isn’t nervous, and wants to show Sam that everything is normal at home.  This builds tension, as we don’t know if Sam can suspect anything.  There is also irony, as we have figured out that Mary won’t be buying cheesecake or two potatoes anymore, now that her husband is dead.  Once we are aware of this, we sympathise with Mary, as her life has totally changed in one night.

Throughout the next paragraph, the writer uses emotive language to get across the idea that Mary genuinely feels sorry that she killed her husband, and that she loved him.  The writer uses words like ‘frantic’, ‘tragic’, shock’, 'terrible’, ‘grief’, ‘horror’ to convey the emotions that describe how Mary is feeling when she sees her husband’s dead body.

Mary has now phoned the police up and told them about what she has found.  The writer builds tension again, by making us feel anxious that Mart won’t be able to get away with it, as now the police, detectives and forensic pathologists are involved.  

As all the people gather into the house, more tension and suspense is built; as there is a less chance of getting away with the murder.  The writer uses verbs like ‘hurried’, and ‘quickly’ to link to a sense of emergency, and again, the people are withholding information from her, as they ‘whisper’ and ‘mutter’.  This also creates anxiety, as we don’t know what they are talking about – if they think that Mary is the murderer or not.

The people started to look for the murder weapon, and said, “It was almost like a large piece of metal.” Ironically, the weapon was cooking in the oven, out of the police’s reach.

We are reminded of Mr Maloney halfway down of page 21, as Mary says, “she could hear their footsteps on the gravel outside.”  The writer makes us feel sorry for Mary, as she will never have to do that again, as her husband is dead.

The last two pages, is when the murder weapon is finally disposed of.  “You must be terribly hungry by now because it’s long past your super time…why don’t you eat up that lamb that’s in the oven? It’ll be cooked just right by now.”    The writer creates a lot of dramatic irony here, as the policemen and the others eat the lamb without suspecting anything.  “Their voices were all think and sloppy full of meat.” This is not a very attractive scene of someone eating, and reminds us of animal eating, as they ‘belch’, etc.

The policemen and others start to discuss the weapon.  “That’s the hell of a big club the guy must’ve used to hit poor Patrick… that’s why it ought to be easy to find.”  This is very ironic as they are discussing the murder weapon while eating it.  The writer builds tension, as the reader feels excited that Mary is going to get away with the murder.

Right at the end of the story, comes a twist. “‘Probably right under our very noses.’ And in the other room, Mary Maloney began to giggle.”  This is very surprising, as Mary had given an inappropriate reaction.  This may be due to that she is giggling with relief that she had got away with it, but personally, I think she is giggling because she has gone mad with the emotions, as she is happy as he is not there to treat her badly, but she is also sad because she loved him very much, and that their baby is going to grow up without a father.

Lamb To The Slaughter Essay

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Home — Essay Samples — Literature — Lamb to The Slaughter — Roald Dahl’s Lamb to The Slaughter: Literary Analysis


Roald Dahl’s Lamb to The Slaughter: Literary Analysis

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Jonathan Swift employs satire as a provocative means to address pressing issues in his native Ireland. In his renowned work, "A Modest Proposal," Swift proposes the unthinkable—cannibalism—to draw attention to Ireland's dire circumstances. He underscores the overarching problem: British oppression and the ineffectiveness of both nobility and commoners in resisting it.

Swift perceives the commoners as victims of extreme poverty and heavy taxation, leaving them incapable of engaging in political or social change. Their focus remains on basic survival, given their dire living conditions.

Blame falls heavily on the nobility, seen as complacent in perpetuating British dominance due to incompetence and a fear of losing their privileged positions. Their resistance to new ideas and reluctance to challenge the status quo frustrate Swift, prompting his satirical approach to gain their attention. This inaction stems from a lack of faith in innovative solutions and the fear that confronting the British might jeopardize their power and privileges.

Swift underscores that the failure of both commoners and nobility to unite weakens Ireland, emphasizing that shocking proposals are necessary to capture the attention of those in power and effect change in a nation ensnared by British rule.

Table of contents

Good hook examples for "lamb to the slaughter" essay, "lamb to the slaughter" essay example.

  • A Twist in Every Bite: Roald Dahl's "Lamb to the Slaughter" serves up a deliciously dark narrative, leaving readers hungry for more than just answers. Join us as we sink our teeth into this tantalizing tale of deception and retribution.
  • Mary Maloney: Culinary Genius or Calculated Killer? Within the pages of "Lamb to the Slaughter," Roald Dahl crafts a character as complex as any gourmet dish. Explore the layers of Mary Maloney's character as we unravel the recipe for her shocking transformation.
  • Dahl's Recipe for Suspense: In "Lamb to the Slaughter," Dahl blends elements of suspense and dark humor to create a literary dish unlike any other. Savor the flavors of this narrative as we dissect the ingredients that make it so tantalizing.
  • Behind Closed Curtains: Unmasking Dahl's Domestic Noir Join us as we venture into the seemingly ordinary household of Mary and Patrick Maloney. "Lamb to the Slaughter" peels back the curtains on domesticity to reveal the shocking secrets lurking within.
  • From Housewife to Homicide: Mary Maloney's Transformation Roald Dahl's portrayal of Mary Maloney challenges traditional gender roles and expectations. In this essay, we'll explore how her character evolves from a devoted housewife to an unexpected criminal mastermind.

"Lamb to the Slaughter": Analysis of Marital Relationship

Works cited.

  • American Nurses Association. (2015). Nursing: Scope and standards of practice (3rd ed.). American Nurses Association.
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2022). Registered Nurses. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm.
  • Grossman, S., & Valiga, T. M. (Eds.). (2012). The new leadership challenge: Creating the future of nursing (3rd ed.). F.A. Davis Company.
  • Nurse Journal. (2022). Critical Care Nurse. Retrieved from https://nursejournal.org/critical-care-nursing/critical-care-nurse/.
  • The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. (2022). Certification.
  • The National Council of State Boards of Nursing. (2022). About NCLEX.
  • Trossman, S. (2019). The nursing profession’s role in patient safety. American Nurse Today, 14(3), 24-29.
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2010). The future of nursing: Leading change, advancing health. Institute of Medicine.
  • World Health Organization. (2021). State of the world’s nursing 2020: Investing in education, jobs and leadership. World Health Organization. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240003279.

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essay about lamb to the slaughter

Literature Studies: “Lamb to The Slaughter” by Roald Dahl Essay

Patrick is a detective who punctually arrives home to his wife. She always offers him a cold drink and allows him to take it peacefully. However, on this fateful day, the unusual happened and Patrick presumably told Mary, his wife, they were going to part ways. The series of events following this announcement led to Patrick’s death and an investigation into his death. This paper looks into Mary Maloney’s nature and her controlling characteristic as narrated by Dahl.

Dahl begins the story by introducing a wife, Mary Maloney, who is in a warm room waiting for her husband (Dahl). From the onset, Mary is depicted as a dedicated and dutiful wife with much love for her spouse. Despite signs pointing to anxiety, her occasional glances at the watch, she is calm.

Mary also comes across as keen to detail, she knows exactly when her husband comes home every day. Mary is composed, loving, and meticulous. However, in all her character traits, her attention to detail appears to contribute a significant share to her overall character.

The opening paragraphs clearly inform the reader that Mrs. Maloney is observant. She knows precisely what time her husband arrives since she begins to listen for signs of Patrick’s arrival. “When the clock said ten minutes to five … a few moments later, punctually as always…” (Dahl). She is rewarded by the sound of car tires outside the house. She can also tell that the second drink Patrick made for himself is stronger by just looking at it.

Her meticulous nature is called upon when she realizes that she has killed Patrick. Mary knows that if found at the crime scene without an alibi, she would end up as the prime suspect. A possibility of being charged for murder does not frighten her. Mary’s only fear is for the unborn child she is carrying (Dahl). To protect her soon to be born baby:

“She carried the meat into the kitchen, put it into a pan, turned on the oven… she washed her hands, ran upstairs, sat down in front of the mirror, fixed her makeup, and tried to smile … That was better. Both the smile and the voice sounded better now. She practiced them several times more” (Dahl).

Heading to the grocery, she bought what she needed. Her keen eye for detail plays out above and further highlighted by her knowledge of Patrick’s favorite dessert.

After the police arrived and began a thorough investigation, they realized that Mr. Maloney died from a blow to his back. As Mary cries in the house, Dahl gives the reader a hint to her diabolical plan. By cooking the “murder weapon”, she has partially destroyed any evidence linking her to Patrick’s death. However, it is not destroyed completely yet.

First, she offers the detectives a drink, possibly alcoholic and bids her time. Jack reminds her of the oven that is still running. She feigned surprise and with a teary face gently offers the officers to eat the murder weapon. Her mission to protect her unborn child appears accomplished when the police decide to finish the lamb. The story ends with Mary laughing at the remark by a police officer that the murder weapon was probably right under their noses.

Works Cited

Dahl, Roald. “Lamb to The Slaughter.” Harper’s Magazine. 1953. Print.

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IvyPanda. (2023, October 31). Literature Studies: "Lamb to The Slaughter" by Roald Dahl. https://ivypanda.com/essays/literature-studies-lamb-to-the-slaughter-by-roald-dahl/

"Literature Studies: "Lamb to The Slaughter" by Roald Dahl." IvyPanda , 31 Oct. 2023, ivypanda.com/essays/literature-studies-lamb-to-the-slaughter-by-roald-dahl/.

IvyPanda . (2023) 'Literature Studies: "Lamb to The Slaughter" by Roald Dahl'. 31 October.

IvyPanda . 2023. "Literature Studies: "Lamb to The Slaughter" by Roald Dahl." October 31, 2023. https://ivypanda.com/essays/literature-studies-lamb-to-the-slaughter-by-roald-dahl/.

1. IvyPanda . "Literature Studies: "Lamb to The Slaughter" by Roald Dahl." October 31, 2023. https://ivypanda.com/essays/literature-studies-lamb-to-the-slaughter-by-roald-dahl/.


IvyPanda . "Literature Studies: "Lamb to The Slaughter" by Roald Dahl." October 31, 2023. https://ivypanda.com/essays/literature-studies-lamb-to-the-slaughter-by-roald-dahl/.

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