Lamb to a Slaughter by Roald Dahl

Lamb to a Slaughter by Roald Dahl

  • Submitted By: chantelliott
  • Date Submitted: 09/03/2013 12:48 PM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 808
  • Page: 4
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Lamb to a Slaughter by Roald Dahl.

In the short story “Lamb to a Slaughter” by Roald Dahl. The author successfully brings the story to a satisfactory ending by concluding the main context of the text.

Dahl cleverly lulls the reader into a false sense of security as he depicts the perfect domestic scene. Dahl illustrates a warm, pleasant, loving home by describing Mary's evening routine; waiting for her husband, taking his coat and having drinks ready. He does this by using phrases such as, “went forward to kiss him as he entered” and “the curtains were closed and two table lamps were lit” This provides a gentle atmosphere to prevail which then makes the conclusion even more shocking.

The reader is manipulated by Dahl to sympathise with the protagonist Mary. At first she appears lamb like. Mary is portrayed by Dahl to be a devoted wife “each minute gone by made it nearer to the time when he would come”, caring and loving “I'll get it” and perhaps a little obsessed with her husband “ She loved to luxuriate in the presence of this man”. She displays qualities of vulnerability and weakness “ her eyes waited to an answer, a smile, a nod but he made no sign” Even in his description of Mary's physical appearance Dahl uses imagery that symbolises the lamb “her eyes, with there new calm look, seemed larger and darker than before” Further sympathy is gained by the sly mention of Mary's pregnancy “this was her sixth month expecting a child” Mary is also shown to be lonely character “enjoying his company after the long hours alone in the house”. The building of the character of Mary in this way makes the pivotal moment in the story more shocking and also encourages the readers sympathy to remain with Mary even after she has committed murder.

Anxiety is created by the author and unease permeates through Dahl's use of vocabulary and oxymoron “cautiously peaceful” Although Mary appears to be calm we are aware of hidden undercurrents, this begins while...

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