Lamb to the slaughter literary

8 August 2016

Roald Dahl may be one of the most brilliant writers in all of history, authoring several childhood classics such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda. Although most of his stories are light and humorous, his darker side shines through with stories like “Lamb to the Slaughter”, an thought-provoking tale of a child-bearing housewife gone mad. Dahl does an amazing job at transitioning from tone to tone through his selective use of imagery, foreshadowing and symbolism. In the stories beginning as Ms.

Maloney is patiently awaiting her husband’s arrival from work, the reader can immediately pick up on a passionate and optimistic tones. Quotes such as the following back up this statement: “Now and again she glanced at the clock, but without anxiety: She merely wanted to satisfy herself that each minute that went by made it nearer the time when he would come home. ” This quote shows how Mary is not a person riddled with anxiety or insecurities, but rather a normal every-day housewife.

Lamb to the slaughter literary Essay Example

The quote shows that Mary is naturally content at heart and happily awaits her husband’s arrival, without sensing anything fishy. Another quote from the story backs up the statement once again. “I think it’s a shame,” she said, “that when someone’s been a policeman as long as you have, he still has to walk around all day long. ” He didn’t answer. “Darling,” she said,” If you’re too tired to ear out tonight, as we had planned, I can fix you something. There’s plenty of meat and stuff in the freezer. ” Her eyes waited to an answer, a smile, a nod, but he made no sign.

” This illuminates that even though Mary senses unease in her husband, she tries her best to lighten the mood and spawn encouraging thoughts throughout the room with her reassuring suggestions. The quote really shows another side to Mary’s personality, a kind- thoughtful side that her husband doesn’t seem to appreciate. The quote shows Mary’s ironclad passion for her husband’s wellbeing, as she desperately tries to cheer him up. Passionate, optimistic tones are so well detected by readers because of Dahl’s brilliant, clear imagery in this scene.

As readers start drifting into the next part of the story, the tone swiftly transforms into fiery, outraged tones. Evidence of is shown with Dahl’s subtle use of foreshadowing in the following quote: “Her first instinct was not to believe any of it. She thought that perhaps she’d imagined the whole thing. Perhaps, if she acted as though she had not heard him, she would find out that none of it had ever happened. ” This quote explicates Mary’s awareness of the news of her husband leaving her, and denial quickly kicks in.

This shows that Mary is unable cope emotionally in this situation, and might an unscrupulous decision in the near future. This is just another of many quotes filled with foreshadowing in this scene; “I’ll fix some supper,” she whispered. When she walked across the room, she couldn’t feel her feet touching the floor. She couldn’t feel anything except a slight sickness. She did everything without thinking. She went downstairs to the freezer and took hold of the first object she found. ” Now Mary starts on the road to bad decision making.

The quote is full of foreshadowing, such as not thinking about what she is doing, and her taking of the first object she could get ahold of. Someone doing things without thinking about their actions is a recipe for disaster, and intensely stimulates reader’s predictions on what catastrophe Mary might make. This segment of the story is bursting with foreshadowing, expressing strong fiery and outraged tones along with it. As the story comes to a close, she has detectives at her house trying to put together the pieced of the crime and discover who the killer is, and this stories famous ironic tone is revealed.

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