Lamb to the Slaughter

Joe Inzenga

Summary

The Lamb to the Slaughter is about a women named Mary Maloney. She loves her husband so much that she seems to be a little too obsessive. One day he comes home from work drinking a lot and wants a divorce. She tells herself to just go on like nothing happened. She goes to cook dinner and she gets a lamb leg out of the freezer. She comes up behind Mr. Maloney and smacks him in the back of the head with the lamb leg, killing him. She calls the cops and tells them she doesn’t know who killed him or how he was killed, and that she found him like that on her way back from the store. She offered them something to eat, so they did. She fed them the only evidence, the lamb leg.

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Irony

In the Lamb to the Slaughter there are two examples of irony. The first one is situational Irony. Mary Maloney is extremely loving and is like obsessed with her husband. She loves him so much that it is almost too much. That is what makes it ironic that she killed him. No one would have expected that a women her that loves her husband as much as her, kills her husband.


The second type of irony is dramatic irony. Mary Maloney kills her husband with a lamb leg. When she calls the cops they have no idea who killed Mr. Maloney or what he was killed with and the reader does. She cooks the evidence and has the cops eat it and one of the cops says, "It's probably right under our noses." What he didn't know was that it literally was as they were putting it into their mouth.

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Characterization

It is more than obvious that Mary Maloney is deeply in love with her husband. "She merely wanted to satisfy herself that each minute that went by made it nearer the time when he would come home." She couldn't wait for him to get home every single day. "When the clock said ten minutes to five, she began to listen, and a few moments later, punctually as always, she heard the car tires on the stones outside, the car door closing, footsteps passing the window, the key turning in the lock. She stood up and went forward to kiss him as he entered." "She loved the shape of his mouth, and she especially liked the way he didn't complain about being tired." "She took his coat and hung it up. Then she made the drinks, a strong one for him and a weak one for herself" All of these are examples of how obsessed she is with him. She loves him so much that every second that she gets to see him she makes she does. She is at his beck and call. She is very clingy and affectionate. That is why it seems extremely out of character to kill him. She must be very emotional. After he told her he wanted to split up she raged but silently in her own mind and killed him.
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