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Character Analysis of Mary Maloney in Lamb to the Slaughter

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    Lamb to the slaughter a short story by Roald Dahl. Is about a woman so upset with her husband she kills him and how she keeps it a secret that she did it from the detectives. I will focus on the character Mary Maloney and how her character changes as the story progresses. At first Mary Maloney comes across as a loving house wife waiting for her husband to come home ‘now and again she would glance up at the clock but without anxiety, merely to please herself. ’ At first she acts nicely to her husband. She makes him drinks and asks if he is hungry.

    The key thing that changes her personality is her husband sits down and speaks to her we can only assume he was leaving her but to our astonishment she takes it in her stride and goes to get the leg of lamb but you can tell something is wrong when she walked across the room she couldn’t feel her feet touch the floor. It was a shock to the reader when she wacked her husband on the back of the head with the leg of lamb it was unexpected as she seemed so nice ‘At that point Mary Maloney walked up behind him and without any pause she swung the leg of lamb high in the air and brought it down as hard as she could on the back of her head.

    ’ This makes her act a lot different from the start she is no longer a loving wife she is more she is more a cold hearted killer. Sam (the shop keeper) dose not suspect a thing he just thinks she’s getting some vegetables for her supper ‘I would like some potatoes please Sam, yes, and I think a can of peas. ’ The detectives thin it wasn’t her because she had an alibi that she was at Sam’s shop at the time of death.

    The detectives view her as a grieving house wife widow and do her favours like drink and eat the leg of lamb but they don’t know she killed Patrick with the leg of lamb that they were eating the fact she feeds the men the leg that she killed her husband with is disturbing My impression of Mary towards the end is that she has the making of a psycho and is capable of much more I am not on her side as she killed her husband and no matter what he said you just cant go round killing people.

    Mary by the end is manipulating everyone and its hard to see the ‘soft’ side of her that you see at the start I don’t know if fooling the detectives was the right thing to do because she has to live with the fact she has killed someone for the rest of her life but you know why she didn’t and you understand its for her unborn child and she doesn’t know what will happen to him/her ‘what was the laws about murder with unborn children or did they wait till the tenth month? What did they do?

    ’ Mary has changed her whole personality during the story she starts off nice and then she because becomes deserving The overall message of this is don’t judge a book by its cover what looks nice on the outside can be dark and evil on the inside. He imparts this perfectly threw Mary because she was all nice at the beginning kills her husband covers it up and doesn’t get caught. I believe on the whole Mary was a victim as she has to live with the face she killed someone for the rest of her life.

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