Roald Dahl’s “Lamb to the Slaughter” Analysis

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A Critical Analysis Of Roald Dahl’s “Lamb to the Slaughter” Roald Dahl was a short story writer for grown-ups and children. He was born in 1916 in Wales. Roald explains how he went through many hardships as he was young attending St. Peters Prep School. The headmaster of the school, as well as the older boys called prefects, would beat the younger boys, because of simply leaving “a football sock on the floor, for burning the prefect’s toast at teatime or for forgetting to change into hose-shoes at six o’clock. In 1942 Roald went to Washington as Assistant Air Attache’, there he began writing short stories. Roald wrote many short stories such as ; “The Gremlins,” “James and the Giant Peach,” “Someone Like You,” “Sweet Mystery,” and “Lamb of the Slaughter. ” In every story, Roald emphasizes cruelty, but never without humor. That is why I chose Roald’s “Lamb of the Slaughter. ” “The room was warm and clean, the curtains drawn, the two table lamps alight-hers and the one by the empty chair opposite.

On the sideboard behind her, two tall glasses, soda water, whiskey. Fresh ice cubes in the Thermos bucket. ” Obviously Mary loves her husband too much to do anything to upset him. Mary does everything she can do to keep her husband happy in “Lamb of the Slaughter”, until she realizes that he has a blank expression upon his face. Mary symbolizes the lamb, always kind and generous and always putting others before herself. The theme Roald is trying to portraying is the weak have more power than they themselves and others may think.

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Mary, a stay at home wife, always did everything to please her husband, but when she realizes he was going to divorce her, she let her weakness get the best of her and killed her husband so she could diminish her weakness and be reborn into a free woman. When Mary realizes that she needs to do things for herself to make herself happy she just giggles as if she knows what is to come next. The lamb is the biggest object in the story. Mary is the lamb as well as her husband.

She is the lamb because she is very fragile, willing, and loving, and he is the lamb because he is a follower of the law and his job and really only takes into consideration his work and his image. Therefore they both get punished, her by giving the relationship her all and in the end being divorced, and him by getting murdered by someone he took for granted. Mary is the lam being slaughters, but she overcomes it and fights back. She kills her husband as a way to overcome her anxiety and the divorce.

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Roald Dahl’s “Lamb to the Slaughter” Analysis. (2016, Dec 09). Retrieved from

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