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What is an example of foreshadowing, setting, and direct characterization in "Lamb...

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hope0026 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 6, 2008 at 9:47 AM via web

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What is an example of foreshadowing, setting, and direct characterization in "Lamb to the Slaughter"?

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dymatsuoka | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 7, 2008 at 2:01 AM (Answer #1)

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An example of foreshadowing occurs when Patrick takes his drink:

"...as he spoke, he did an unusual thing.  He lifted his glass and drained it in one swallow although there was still half of it...He got up and went slowly over to fetch himself another...When he came back, she noticed that the new drink was dark amber with the quantity of whiskey in it".

Patrick does not usually act like this.  He is obviously uneasy, most likely trying to work up the courage to do or say something unpleasant.  His actions foreshadow ominous things to come.

The author clearly describes the setting in the very first lines of the story:

"The room was warm and clean, the curtains drawn, the two table lamps alight - hers and the one by the empty chair opposite.  On the sideboard behind her, two tall glasses, soda water, whiskey.  Fresh ice cubes in the Thermos bucket".

In introducing Mary Maloney, the author uses direct characterization, telling the reader plainly what she is like:

"There was a slow smiling air about her, and about everything she did.  The drop of a head as she bent over her sewing was curiously tranquil...She loved to luxuriate in the presence of this man...She loved him".

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