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Irony In Roald Dahl's Lamb To The Slaughter

Decent Essays
It is easy to underestimate someone. Just like the killers in movies that no one expect to be guilty. Or, a real life example, the Las Vegas shooter. No one expected it to be who it was because of the bias, racism, and fear in our country. People would have expected it to be a terrorist or an African American. But, in reality it was a white man with what seems to be no motive but to kill. No one would have stopped to ask him questions or suspect anything of him because he was a white man. This leaves people surprised and left with questions. Authors can use the reader’s tendency to underestimate people to create irony and surprises in their stories. Roald Dahl does a great job of this in the short story “Lamb to the Slaughter.” Roald Dahl uses dramatic irony, situational irony, and characterization to show that the reader should not underestimate people who seem gentle and kind.
The first literary element that Roald Dahl uses in “Lamb to the Slaughter” is dramatic irony. The policemen in the story state, “‘Personally, I think it’s right here on the premises.’ ‘Probably right under our very noses’” (Dahl 383). In this quote the policemen are eating the lamb that Mary Maloney asked them to eat. This is after a long day of the policemen searching for the weapon used to kill Mary Maloney’s husband. This creates dramatic irony because the reader knows that the murder weapon is the lamb but the policemen do not. The policemen are eating exactly what they are looking for and have
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