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Crime Of Morality In Mary Maloney's Lamb To The Slaughter

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In “Lamb to the Slaughter,” Mary Maloney is not guilty for killing her husband, Patrick, but was instead temporarily insane. As her defense attorney, I declare that Mary Maloney should not be held liable for breaking the law, because she was mentally incompetent at the time of her actions. A crime of passion can describe Mary Maloney’s actions, because it was not premeditated or deliberate; it was because of a strong impulse of disbelief and anger. The first example from the passage that justifies this is, “Mary Maloney was waiting for her husband to come home from work. Now and again she glanced at the clock, but without anxiety: She merely wanted to satisfy herself that each minute that went by made it nearer the time when he would…show more content…
She lifted it out, and looked at it---a leg of lamb “ (Page 2). The fact that Mary Maloney can’t even feel herself doing anything, corresponds to how shocked she is. As a matter of fact, that is when her consciousness of her action momentarily fades away. She cannot accept the fact that her beloved husband would betray her like this, but in a way, the introduction to the story already tells us that their relationship isn’t strong and loving. Also, Mary is shown to have picked the very first thing she found, which was a lamb leg. This proves that she had no intention of premeditating a weapon beforehand, but instead used whatever she could find to let out her emotions. In addition, pregnant women are more emotionally unstable and because of that Mary Maloney couldn’t handle the stress of the news her husband told her. The final quote that proves her temporary insanity is, “She stepped back, waiting, and the strange thing was that he remained standing there for at least four or five seconds. Then he crashed onto the carpet. The violence of the crash, the noise, the small table overturning, helped to bring her out of the shock… It was extraordinary, now, how clear her mind became all of a sudden. She began thinking very fast. As the wife of a detective, she knew what the punishment would be…In fact, it would be a relief. On the other hand, what about the baby ” (Page 2)? Not only did she regain her consciousness, moments after her husband’s death, but she also
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