One of Dahl’s more famous stories is “Lamb to the Slaughter”.
This is a twisted, gripping tale of Mary Maloney, who murders her own husband by hitting him with a frozen leg of lamb and then hiding her crime and disposing of the evidence by feeding the lamb to the policemen who come to investigate the murder.
Roald Dahl effectively developed the protagonist both directly and indirectly; however the use of indirect characterisation is more dominant because it reveals and explains Mary Malloney’s actions.
In the beginning of the story, Mary Malloney appears to be an ordinary house-wife, awaiting her husband’s return, but already Dahl starts creating the enigmatic atmosphere of the story by describing Mary as “curiously tranquil”.
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This one-page guide includes a plot summary and brief analysis of is a Roald Dahl short story published in Harper’s Magazine in 1953. She is calm and devoted, even going so far as to make his favorite drink for him just the way he likes it.
It tells the story of a woman who coldly commits murder and then gets away with it by creatively destroying the evidence. She cares for her home and is heavily pregnant with her first child. One day, when he returns home, he is aloof and acting strangely.
Her husband, Patrick, is a detective, and she is very much content in her marriage. She assumes that the job must have been more tiring than usual that day and doesn’t think anything of his behavior.
These lines to me show her as a typical wife waiting for her husband to come home and to give her the love and attention she needs. She waited, looking at the clock to see how long ... She comes up behind him with him having no idea she has the large piece of lamb in her hands and hits him and ultimately kills him. Well he wasn’t innocent as such but he could have sorted that out after he had the discussion.
In Conclusion, the behavior of Mary Maloney made me shiver because I had misjudged her right from the beginning and did not realise what she was capable of.