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How does the author create suspense in "Lamb to the Slaughter"? from the...

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nahila | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 21, 2008 at 9:01 AM via web

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How does the author create suspense in "Lamb to the Slaughter"?

from the story Lamb to the Slaughter

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parkerlee | Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted November 21, 2008 at 4:22 PM (Answer #1)

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Actually, the reader is taken by surprise much as Patrick Maloney himself! There is no time to wonder how the murder will be committed since no one suspects anything. However, the reader is aware that Mrs Maloney feels betrayed and totally let down, and especially vulnerable given her maternal state. For this reason, her sudden brutal act can be justified, even if it is "out of character" with her character profile.

There is suspense, however, after the murder scene in that the reader follows Mrs Maloney around in her meticulous steps to cover her crime. One can wonder how such a sentimental and docile wife can show herself to be so calculating and cool-headed. When the police arrive, the reader waits for the moment which never comes - the moment Mrs Maloney gets caught. There is an unfulfilled expectation.

Mrs Maloney's giggle at the end also takes the reader off guard. Not exactly the grieving widow, perhaps she is even enjoying " getting away with murder."

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chickencow | College Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 4, 2010 at 10:18 PM (Answer #2)

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If the Lamb is actually the portal cake.....It Must Be A LIE!!!

Trust me

Im a dog!

The lamb is a chicken

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