English Literature- Lamb to the Slaughter

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Lamb to the slaughter

-Roald Dahl

**************************************************************** By P. Baburaj, Senior Lecturer, Dept. of English, Sherubtse college, Bhutan Author of: Language and writing, DSB Publication Thimphu Communicative English, P. K. Books, Calicut A perception on Literary Criticism, P.K. Books, Calicut ******************************************************************

Black comedy/blackhumour -is concerned with the humorous treatment of the shocking, horrific and macabre. Black comedy is actually a form of drama which displays a marked disillusionment and cynicism. It shows human beings without conviction with little hope, regulated by fate or fortune or comprehensible powers. In fact, human beings in an ‘absurd’ predicament at its darkest, such comedy is pervaded by a kind of sour despair; we can’t do anything. So we may as well laugh. The wit is mordant and the humor sardonic. Dramatic irony When the audience understands the implication and meaning of a situation on stage, or what is being said, but the characters do not. Example-Oedipus does not realize his crime. Sir Peter Tezel (in school for scandal) does not know his wife is behind the screen when he is talking about Joseph Surface. Symbols.  The ‘warm’ and ‘clean’ attic indicates the desire for normal domestic pattern.  The ‘curtain drawn’- shows a calm atmosphere that foreshadowing of hidden subconscious desires that are yet to surface in the form of murderous action.  Two lamps alight- point to Mary and Patrick.  Fresh ice cubes in the thermos points to coldness and heat. Ice is cold and thermos brings heat to the mind. Contemporary story.  Story tells of how a pregnant woman when faced with the certainty of her husband leaving her, takes control of her situation.  Powerful woman protagonist -breaking away from the stereotypical role of a woman.  Packed with suspense and humor.  Fast-paced action.

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Third person omniscient narrative....
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