Literary Analysis Essay: Lamb to the Slaughter
In Roald Dahl's Lamb to the slaughter, Mary's appropriate naming for her character, in Hebrew, meaning " rebelliousness", foreshadows the climactic, ironic plot twist as darkly humorous events take place through the author's exemplification of the theme that a person's “identity” can be fragile.
The title, Lamb to the slaughter, with the biblical meaning, "unaware of impending catastrophe" the title of the story clearly foreshadows the climax of the story as the reader is navigated through the life of Mary and her confusion set by her husband's admit to adultery and his planned closure to their monogamous relationship. As we tie back to the literal meaning of the title, when it is stated that what is to be prepared for dinner, the lamb, the reader is forced to take the frozen lamb's leg and give the literal meaning in the story of bringing the leg to the ending of a life. As foreshadowing continues through biblical symbols, as he attempted to "destroy the tree with his fruits..." (relationship with his pregnant wife) she disengaged her moral infrastructure and "cut him off from the land of the living...", hoping "That his name be remembered no more".
When Patrick gets home, he is sullen and anti-social. He consumes several glasses of dark amber whiskey. Mary attempts to pacify him, by doting, but he rebuffs her attempt to fetch his slippers and fix him a pre-dinner snack. The reader begins to realize that Mary isn't all that intelligent, and in severe denial. Patrick orders his wife to sit and then informs her that he’s seeing another woman." 'So there it is,’ he added. `And I know it’s kind of a bad time to beetling you, but there simply wasn’t any other way. Of course I’ll give you money and see you’re looked after. But there needn’t really be any fuss. I hope not anyway. It wouldn’t be very good for my job.' "Mary, in shock, goes to prepare dinner and when she can’t take his platitude statements...