Lamb to the Slaughter

by: Jessie Hagen

Mary Maloney

  • starts off acting like a very sweet innocent wife when he walks in the door from work. "She stood up and went forward to kiss him as he entered." is in the text for her greeting.
  • She seems very sweet but a little too clingy and obsessed. She knows his every movement. As an example, "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."
  • Mary Maloney probably has some type of anger issue because right when her husband said something about letting her go she flipped out and acted crazy. First she acted like nothing happened and went right back to making dinner. Then when he yelled at her, she pretty much decided to kill him with the dinner

Irony

  • Dramatic Irony- When one detective says, “It's probably right under your noses. What do you think, Jack?” and it really was right under their noses. This lets the readers laugh kind of about how they just ate the murder weapon and how they don't know that they are correct on where it is.
  • Situational Irony- When Mary is being so sweet to her husband when he gets home and loving every minute with him then he decides he wants a divorce out of the blue. This creates suspense because you do not see it coming, mostly because she was being so nice and helpful to him. This is what leads to her murder.
  • Situational Irony- When Mary goes to the store to buy vegetables for the side dish of the lamb and ask the grocer, Sam, to help her find a meal for her husband. Her dead husband that Sam does not know about. He says, "How about dessert?...I know he likes cake." He is picking out dinner sides and desserts because he does not know hes dead.

Summary

The story “Lamb to the Slaughter” is about a women, Mary, who was happily married to her husband, Patrick and everyday had the same perfect routine for her day. Him coming home was her favorite part of it though and she obsessed over the fact that when he wasn’t home, then he was about to be and that is something to look forward to. She treated him very nicely when he arrived home but started acting like she wanted to help him a little too much. He became sick of her, so he finally came out and said he didn’t want to be together anymore and wanted a divorce. Mary acted like she never heard what he was saying then went downstairs to get lamb to cook for dinner. When she got back upstairs, Patrick, kept saying things like that it’s a final decision and while Patrick was facing the other way of Mary, she went up behind him and whacked him in the head with the lamb. He died right away and then Mary went to the grocery store to get side dished for her dinner. As she arrived back home she freaked out then called the cops while crying. The detectives and cops came to the house and worked all night trying to find the murder weapon and who did this. The lamb was ready in the oven so Mary fed the chopped up murder weapon to the police.

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