Critical Evaluation ? Lamb To The Slaughter

Sample essay topic, essay writing: Critical Evaluation? Lamb To The Slaughter - 734 words

A tale of the unexpected is Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahl. The story has a twist in the tale ending in which a loving wife gruesomely murders her husband. Mr Patrick Maloney, a senior in the police force seemed a happy married man to his pregnant wife, Mrs. Mary Maloney. Mr Maloney comes home one night, shocking his wife with the news he is leaving her.

Mrs. Maloney is in great shock, to a state that she kills her husband, with a frozen leg of lamb. In the end she gets away with it, unwittingly the police then destroy the evidence by eating the cooked lamb. Mrs. Maloney is your normal housewife, she sits at home in suspense waiting for her prized husband to return home from work. Her relationship with her husband Patrick is almost as a sunbather feels the sun

This is shown in the opening part of the story when Patrick returns home from work. Mary has his usual drink set out for him and when he comes in she is just content to sit in silence, his presence gives her a glow. Throughout the opening part of the story Mary will do anything that Patrick says, showing that she has a great love for him and would never want to disappoint him. At six months pregnant she is the one that should be resting but instead she is jumping around just to try and please her husband. At the start of the novel, Mary seems very innocent, but her whole personality changes when she kills Patrick. At the start she seems happy, loving, caring, friendly and very dependent on Patrick.

After Patrick is murdered Mary's character completely changes. She becomes a very devious, unremorseful and independent person. The author creates this change in character to try and show that even if a person seems weak and dependent, they can in fact be internally strong. Mr Maloney is a senior police officer. The first impressions of him are now very selfish and ungrateful he is to his wife. He doesn't treat his wife very well and doesn't appreciate all she does for him.

His only answer to his wife would be "No" and he didn't seem to have much time for her. Patrick is a very independent and reserved character, he has no dependency on Mary. Until his death he is a very cold and irritable person and it doesn't make you feel very sorry for him when he dies. As his wife is six months pregnant, he should be helping her not the opposite and the news he is leaving her now gives him no sympathy from the reader. The murder takes place in the house of the Maloney's. The house adds to the unexpected scenario fro the action to take place. A murder so gruesome would usually take place in a cold, creepy and dark place, not in a warm, homely, family environment. The atmosphere of the house changes from inviting and friendly to a tense and uneasy place after the murder has taken place. Mrs.

Maloney gets away with the murder in the end. This caused by a revolting ending in which he police detectives eat the leg of lamb that was used to kill Patrick. The writer creates an unbelievable ending by making the story, up to the murder, set in a very normal family house. It is not somewhere you would associate with a morbid killing. The writer builds up an impression that the marriage may not be as good as it could be, and both were under strain not to release the tension onto each other. This story is a tale of the unexpected and the main way it is achieved is by making the build up to the climax of the death seem so normal.

I would not expect a happy married couple, in a warm, cozy house, to be the setting for such an evil, thrilling murder to take place. The writer manages to make the reader think nothing will happen by making the opening of the story of the novel an everyday thing in many peoples lives. The message I got from the story was not to judge a book by its cover. Mary on first impressions seemed the caring, loving wife but if you looked between the lines, we can see she was in fact an evil deceptive murderer.

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