Imagine you could wish for your heart's desire. It could be anything you wanted. However, someone would have to die for your wish to come true. Remember, be careful of what you wish for; the consequences may be horrific. The idea of fate and symbolism, when mixed together, can make a lethal pair. Dahl and Jacobs use fate and symbolism to paint an effective picture of death. The idea of fate is used in both "The Monkey's Paw" and Lamb to the Slaughter. In "Monkey's Paw", the paw manipulates faith. "It moved
As I wished it twisted in my hand like a snake." The twisting and movement represents someone or something manipulating fate for their wants. In Lamb to the Slaughter the aristocracy also tried to manipulate fate. However, Mrs. Maloney wasn't wishing any material possessions; she was trying to control fate to survive her marriage. Changing your destiny can have consequences. Dahl and Jacob's both demonstrate this. In "Monkey's Paw", the father wishes for two hundred pounds. While it does come true, there was a consequence. This was Herbert's death. The same thing goes for "Lamb to the Slaughter" Even though Mrs. Maloney took precautions (a.k.a. manipulating fate) against her husband, she still killed him. Ronald Dahl and W.W. Jacobs do an excellent job of using symbolism in their stories. Jacobs uses the monkey's paw to symbolize someone trying to change or manipulate fate. The fact that is a monkey's paw is important for one reason: A monkey is the only other animal besides humans that has opposable thumbs. Another symbol in "Monkey" is the chessboard and game at the beginning. The chessboard symbolizes life. The pieces are people like us. They can move certain ways, but if they make a mistake or try to do something audacious, there can be consequences. Checkmate, or death, is one of those consequences. In "Lamb to the Slaughter," Ronald Dahl effectively develops the protagonist both directly and indirectly; however, the use of indirect characterization is...
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