Literary Analysis “Lamb to the Slaughter”
Roald Dahl may be one of the most brilliant writers in all of history, authoring several childhood classics such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda. Although most of his stories are light and humorous, his darker side shines through with stories like “Lamb to the Slaughter”, an thought-provoking tale of a child-bearing housewife gone mad. Dahl does an amazing job at transitioning from tone to tone through his selective use of imagery, foreshadowing and symbolism.
In the stories beginning as Ms. Maloney is patiently awaiting her husband’s arrival from work, the reader can immediately pick up on a passionate and optimistic tones. Quotes such as the following back up this statement: “Now and again she glanced at the clock, but without anxiety: She merely wanted to satisfy herself that each minute that went by made it nearer the time when he would come home.” This quote shows how Mary is not a person riddled with anxiety or insecurities, but rather a normal every-day housewife. The quote shows that Mary is naturally content at heart and happily awaits her husband’s arrival, without sensing anything fishy. Another quote from the story backs up the statement once again. “I think it’s a shame,” she said, “that when someone’s been a policeman as long as you have, he still has to walk around all day long.” He didn’t answer. “Darling,” she said,” If you’re too tired to ear out tonight, as we had planned, I can fix you something. There’s plenty of meat and stuff in the freezer.” Her eyes waited to an answer, a smile, a nod, but he made no sign.” This illuminates that even though Mary senses unease in her husband, she tries her best to lighten the mood and spawn encouraging thoughts throughout the room with her reassuring suggestions. The quote really shows another side to Mary’s personality, a kind- thoughtful side that her husband doesn’t seem to appreciate. The quote shows Mary’s ironclad passion for her...
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