Character Sketch of Mary Maloney

Class has recently read Roald Dahl’s short story, “Lamb to the Slaughter”. In “Lamb to the Slaughter” there is a married couple; however the husband wants to divorce his wife Mary. Mary then becomes enraged and takes drastic measures. In the short story there is an interesting transformation in Mary Maloney’s character. Mary Maloney is a dynamic character because she changes from a loving wife to a manipulative and unstable widow. While reading the short story “Lamb to the Slaughter”, a trait Mary Maloney appeared to have was noticed.

Mary was a loving and caring woman when we started reading the story. Roald Dahl uses literary devices like actions to show that Mary Maloney was both loving and caring, because according to “Lamb to the Slaughter” Mary takes her husbands coat and hangs it in the closet. Mary was a static character in the beginning of the story. Mary soon changes from a static character to a dynamic character as the story proceeds. Dahl also uses literary devices such as dialogue to show traits Mary Maloney possesses.

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Mary starts to become manipulative as the story goes on. Lamb to the Slaughter” states that Mary said “I’ll get supper” and her husband didn’t stop her anymore. Mary has ceased to be so loving and caring after her husband gives her the news. Mary continues to change in character as the story unfolded. Roald Dahl once again uses actions as his literary device to show another critical change in Mary’s character. During and after the climax of the story Mary becomes unstable. “Lamb to the Slaughter” says “both the smile and the voice were coming out better now.

She rehearsed it several times more”. Mary became crazy and unstable when she murders her husband. Mary has made the change from a static character to a dynamic character because she changed. All of the literary devices that Roald Dahl uses to create Mary Maloney’s traits showed how she changed from a static character to a dynamic one. She started off being loving and caring and ended up being unstable and manipulative. Mary Maloney was a dynamic character when the story went on.

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