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“Lamb to the Slaughter” Movie and Story Analysis



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    Roald Dahl published a short story, Lamb to the slaughter, in 1953. Five year later, Alfred Hitchcock presents Lamb to the Slaughter movie. Lamb to the slaughter is about a wife who was six-months pregnant that murdered her husband who cheated on her by hitting on his head. Lamb to the Slaughter story and movie have same characters, setting and plot; but they have some different scenes. The setting of the story and movie was in their house. The main characters are Mrs. Maloney who was pregnant and her husband, Patrick, who was leaving her. The different sciences was when Patrick came home from his work, when he started to say the shock news to Mrs. Maloney and when Mrs. Maloney went back home from the grocery.

    Patrick and Mrs. Maloney behaved different in the story and the movie when Patrick got home after working. In both of the movie and story, when Patricks opened the door and entered, Mrs. Maloney kissed him and said “Hello!’ to her husband. In the story, he replied “Hello!”, but in the movie he did not reply. The author also wrote, “She took his coat… made the drinks, a strong one for him”. She then waited for her husband to finish his drink and start having conversation. The movie showed that Patrick made his drink while his wife was talking to him and then asking him to take his coat off. The movie and the story have quite different characters’ action in this beginning scene, but they are still about the husband and wife when the husband came home.

    When Patrick was about to tell a shock news to Mrs. Maloney, the way that he tried to speak in the story is different from the movie. In the story, Patrick told her to “sit down’ and said, ”This is going t be a big shock’. He made her to get ready to listen to what he was about to said. He seemed to equivocate, saying, “I’ll give you money and see that you’re taken care of’. The reader can infer that he cheated on her and planned to leave her. On the other hand, the movie present that Patrick stopped her when she was walking to the kitchen and said that he had something to tell her. He got straight to the point that he “wants to leave” her. In both of the story and the movie, Mrs. Maloney replied “What is it, darling?” or “What is wrong, darling? when he wants to say something. In this only conversation scene between Patrick and Mrs. Maloney, Patrick acted different, however, Mrs. Maloney still said quite the same thing in the movie and the book.

    Mrs. Maloney fooled the policemen by creating different scenes in the movie and the story when she want back home from the grocery. In both of the story and movie, Mrs. Maloney started her plan by buying some vegetable to lie to the seller that she would make a dinner for Patrick. In the story, she got in the kitchen and called “Patrick!… How are you, darling?’, then “she put the package on the table.’. She “went into the living room’, “knelt down beside him” and cried which never happened in the movie. In a scene of the movie, when she entered her house, she dropped the package on the flour and started messing her house up make it look like a fight by flipping the chairs and shuffling papers. Mrs. Maloney had a contrivance to get out of crime; however, she did a little differently between the story and the movie.

    Roald Dahl and Alfred Hitchcock had different points for their story and movie; although Alfred’s movie was based on Roald’s story. The differences created their own characteristics for the story and movie. The movie described what happened in the story with more details; however, it still followed the plot of the story.

    “Lamb to the Slaughter” Movie and Story Analysis. (2021, Aug 27). Retrieved from

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