Examples Of Mary Maloney And Lamb To Slaughter

Decent Essays

Deceit is a poisonous character trait. Characters who possess this trait are untrustworthy. Roald Dahl craftily illustrates this in his short stories “Lamb to Slaughter” and “The Landlady”. “Lamb to Slaughter” is the story of Mary Maloney, a young pregnant woman struggling to cope with her husband’s betrayal; “The Landlady” tells the tale of a sneaky bed-and-breakfast owner who never lets her tenants leave. Therefore, Dahl’s incorporation of these characters within his short stories are the epitome of deceitfulness. Dahl’s protagonist in “Lamb to Slaughter”, Mary Maloney, displays her deceitful nature when her husband comes home from a long day of work. Mary kills Patrick with a frozen leg of lamb after he informs her that he wants a divorce. Immediately thereafter, she goes to the store to purchase vegetables. This is the beginning of her deceit. Mary clearly does not need vegetables. Her trek to the store is her way of creating an an alibi. This adds another layer to her deception. Here, she engages in a conversation with a seemingly familiar clerk, Sam. She informs him that Patrick “decided he’s tired and doesn’t want to eat out tonight” (Dahl 3). This gives Sam the impression that her husband is still alive when in all actuality, he is dead. She has added yet another layer to her level of deception. Mary’s deception has no limits. She eventually deceives herself into thinking she did not murder her husband. She convinces herself that she is “not expecting to find

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