The Story begins with a relaxed, and patiently waiting Mary who is “curiously peaceful”, and “ satisfied to sit quietly” while she waits for Patrick to finish his drink, as she does daily (Dahl 1). When Mary speaks to Patrick, he is short with her, though his attitude is evident to the reader, Mary is oblivious to it until Patrick firmly, yet calmly tells her to “ Sit down...Just for a minute, sit down” (Dahl 1). His seriousness frightens Mary and catches her off-guard as she has already noticed that Patrick is deviating from their normal routine.
In the beginning of “Lamb to the Slaughter” we meet Mary Maloney a devoted housewife to her husband, whom her whole world revolves around. However, as Dahl’s story progresses, we interpret that Patrick Maloney is unhappy in his marriage and he confesses that he is leaving Mary. The confession causes Mary’s whole universe to collapse around her because her sole purpose as a housewife is now obsolete as she does not have a husband to cook dinner for. The shock of the news causes Mary to do everything without thinking that “everything was automatic now” (Dahl 40) therefore, she approached Patrick without thinking of the consequences of her actions, as she didn’t even hesitate to kill her own husband. In this moment, we detect a significant change in Mary’s character, we observed an act of violence from Mary that wasn’t expected of her to commit. She conceives of her own alibi to conceal the murder by going to the grocer and coming back to find her husband deceased, this shows her skills of careful deception to make sure no one suspected her of the crime. The submissive and kind housewife is the facade that Mary puts up to deceive the detectives in order persuade the detectives to get rid of the murder weapon for her without them realizing it. In the course of the story, Mary goes from being solely dependent
In “Lamb to Slaughter” it shows how life was like before she killed Patrick and what she does before he comes home.The police show up at Mary’s door but don’t really suspect her at all,they don’t because she went
In her early life, Mary had moved from place in Britain, due to her father’s unsuccessful attempts to become a noble farmer. Doing so he squandered much of his inheritance and wealth. Her father was a drunk, and often times would attack Mary’s mother in a drunken fit of rage. Mary often had to protect
The short mystery by Roald Dahl “Lamb to the Slaughter” details how Mary Maloney murdered her husband, Patrick, as well as remain unpunished for her crimes. The day seemed similar to every other as Mary waited patiently for her husband to return home from work. When he finally walked in through the door, Mary dotingly tended to Patrick, the way she always did. She removed his coat and made him a drink, content with the fact that he was home with her. Unfortunately for Mary, after Patrick downed his first drink, he coldly told her the terrible news: he was going to leave her -not only that, divorce her-
Elizabeth Piedmont-Marton, British Children’s writer, argues that it is not clear why Mary Maloney “grasps it like a weapon rather than a piece of food” in the first place (Piedmont-Marton). The reader is left wondering on Mary’s mental state of mind and her true nature. There seems to be a secret killer in Mary that is no longer kept hidden. After coming to a realization of what she has done, Mary Maloney begins to conjure a solid alibi. Of course, being the wife of a police detective she knew the punishment for murder. The one thing that crosses her mind again and again is her unborn
It didn’t take long, four or five minutes at the most, and she sat still though it all, watching him with puzzled horror.” Mary was pregnant and had all these hormones going through her, I don’t think she meant to kill her husband she was just very shocked and didn’t like what he said to her. In conclusion, these stories have thing in common like they both had they’re heart broken by their
Mary Maloney was six months pregnant which could have maybe swayed her mental state. She also loved her husband so much to the point where she wouldn’t even think of leaving him. So when Patrick told her how he feels of course she would be shocked by the news. Don’t forget, she was also with child when the whole ordeal went down. As she stated, she was nauseous and lightheaded when she pulled the lamb leg from the freezer. Since she couldn’t make him stay what else was she to do in her dazed
The peaceful, happy tone in the beginning quickly changes as Mary is told something no women would ever want to hear. Patrick had some unpleasant news to tell Mary and she didn’t know what was to come, so she tried making him dinner to please him. He had Mary stop attempting to make him dinner so she could listen to him. Although it didn’t mention in the story what he told her, it can be inferred that he told her that he cheated on her or that he wants a divorce. She watched him with “horror” as she was processing what he had said. She tried to imagine as if she didn’t hear him so it wouldn’t become her reality. The only person she ever loved and wanted to please more than anything betrayed and backstabbed her.
Roald Dahl’s “Lamb to the Slaughter” utilizes satire and humor to critique domesticity and the life of a housewife. His use of detail and perspective allows us to view the eager, submissive, and anxious housewife, Mary Maloney. These traits are evident when she glanced at the clock again and again, waiting for her husband, “she merely wanted to satisfy herself that each minute that went by made it nearer to the time when he would come home” (Dahl 1). The exaggeration and descriptive imagery humorously depicts Mary Maloney as a submissive housewife, eager to please her husband in any way. The story satirizes domesticity by portraying an obsessive wife, Mary, who sits like a dog waiting to greet her husband at the door, fetching a drink for him like a toy, crying “I’ll get it” as she jumps out of her chair, and gazing at him “all the time with large, puzzled
Lastly, Mary shows remorse when she walks in and sees her husband's dead body after going to the store. She was able to show emotion at the sight of her husband lying in the floor, showing that she knew that she murdered him and was fully aware of her actions. She cries and is sad because she really did love him, but her anger got the best of her, and she murdered him in the heat of the moment. “All the old love and longing welled up inside her, and she ran over to him, knelt down beside him, and
The author Roald Dahl proves in his short story "Lamb to Slaughter" that the protagonist Mary Maloney was judged to be the innocent wife who dearly loved her husband. Mary was moonstruck. Trailing the divorce that her husband wanted with her. "At the point, Mary Maloney simply walked behind him and without any pause, she swung the frozen leg of lamb high in the air and brought it down as hard as she could on the back of his head" (Dahl, 4). This shows that Mary Maloney isn't that Innocent, caring wife we all thought she was. Meanwhile the scene of Patrick Maloney's death, Mary Maloney was quick-witted. Admitting her husband was dead she, she tries to find a way to save herself. "You must be terribly hungry by now because it's been
One reason why Mary Maloney is guilty is through premeditating and intentionally killing her husband. According to the Legal Information Institute (Cornell University), premeditation is the beforehand thought process before acting upon something. However, there is no time frame set for how long the thought process must occur in order to be considered as premeditation. This can be applied when after hearing the terrible news her husband had for her, Mary’s once cheerful thoughts quickly died down and her entire attitude changed as a whole. At this moment in the text, “She couldn’t feel anything at all-- except a slight nausea and a desire to vomit. Everything was automatic now--”(Dahl 381). During this state of shock,
On his way to the Bell and Dragon Billy stumbles upon a small hotel for an extremely cheap price. When he goes in he discovers a room is already ready for him. Is this just a stroke of luck, or is there a darker purpose behind this seemingly innocent hotel. In the short story Landlady by Roald Dahl you follow Billy on his adventure through Bath England. In the beginning Billy is searching for a place to stay when he stumbles across a very cheap one. This hotel has great service and prices. However Billy soon finds out that this place and the woman who run it aren't always what they seem.