Lamb to The Slaughter

By Jake Smith

What It's About

Lamb to the Slaughter is a story about a husband and wife; Mr. and Mrs. Maloney. Mrs. Maloney is deeply in love with her husband and is an average housewife. She is also pregnant. One day Mr. Maloney comes home from work and isn't acting normal. Mrs. Maloney offers him some dinner but he just wants to sit down and tell her something. He tells her that he is leaving her. When Mrs. Maloney hears this she becomes filled with rage. She is in disbelief of this and insists on making dinner. She goes and gets a frozen lamb leg to cook. When she comes back into the living room Mr. Malone says assertively that she shouldn't make dinner for him and that he was going out. This is the last straw for Mrs. Maloney and it pushes her over the edge. Mr. Maloney has his back to her and she comes from behind and hits him over the head; killing him. She then acts like she didn't do it by rehearsing what she's going to say to the cops. After the cops had been searching for a while Mrs. Maloney offers them some of the lamb leg that she had been cooking. The story ends when they're all eating the same lamb that she killed him with.

1st Ironic Part - Dramatic

The most ironic part of the story is at the very end. After Mrs. Maloney kills her husband with the lamb. She invites cops to search and feeds them the same lamb. One cop mumbles "the weapon is probably right under our noses." Mrs. Maloney laughs in the other room the weapon was under their noses they were eating it.
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2nd Ironic Part - Situational

I didn't expect Mrs. Maloney to kill her husband after he told her that he was leaving her. Before he told her she deeply in love with him. The next instant she was very angry at him. This is situational because the audience doesn't expect her to kill him.

3rd Ironic Part - Verbal

When Mrs. Maloney kills her husband and his body is on the ground, sits next to it and cries. She says she's sorry. But she was just trying to make herself believe that she didn't do it. This is verbal irony because she is kid of being sarcastic about apologizing. She didn't really regret anything at the end, so she obviously isn't sorry.
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Characterization of Mrs. Maloney

In the beginning of the story Mrs. Maloney is a nice, loving, and caring wife. She is deeply in love with her husband, and really enjoys spending time with him. I know this because in the text she is comforting him after he has had a long, tiring day at work. Also when he goes to poor himself a drink, Mrs. Maloney springs up to get it for him. When Mr. Maloney comes home from work one day and tells her that he is leaving her, Mrs. Maloney becomes filled with rage. She is furious and isn't thinking straight. I know that she wasn't thinking straight because the article said, "Her first instinct was to not believe any of it." She was kind of in denial. To get her mind off of it she insists on making dinner. She comes back to the living room with a frozen lamb leg. Mrs. Maloney lets her anger get the best of her and hits Mr. Maloney on the back of the head killing him. When he falls Mrs. Maloney feels regret at first. She runs over to him and cries. But she quickly gets over it and starts thinking of a way she could get away with it. She decides to go to the store and act like she didn't do it. At the store she is talking nervously to the cashier and tell him that she is making dinner for her husband. She then goes home finding his dead body. She acts shocked, and calls the police. After the detectives had been searching for a while Mrs. Maloney offers them some of the lamb leg that she had cooking in the oven. This was the same lamb leg that she killed him with. While they were eating one cop mumbles that the weapon was probably right under their noses. In the other room Mrs. Maloney laughs. The weapon was actually under their noses, they were eating it! Overall Mrs, Maloney doesn't fell regret about what she did. She is actually a pretty bright person. This crime that she committed was perfect. She killed him, and fed the cops the evidence.
Lamb to the Slaughter (1979)