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What is an example of verbal irony in "Lamb to the Slaughter"?There is dramatic irony...

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jocelynchai | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 3, 2010 at 11:33 AM via web

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What is an example of verbal irony in "Lamb to the Slaughter"?

There is dramatic irony used when the police say the weapon is “Probably right under our very noses.”

There is also situational irony because “Lamb to the Slaughter” usually refers to an innocent, naïve person led to danger or failure. In this story, a lamb leg is literally used to slaughter the husband.

I can't find an example of verbal irony in the story.

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cetaylorplfd | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted August 3, 2010 at 11:28 PM (Answer #1)

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One example of verbal irony in the story occurs just before Mary learns that Patrick is leaving her.  When discussing dinner options, she says, "There’s plenty of meat and stuff in the freezer, and you can have it right here and not even move out of the chair."  Looking back, this is ironic because Mary does in fact bring the leg of lamb into the living room.  Patrick "has" the lamb, but certainly not in the same way that Mary intended when she said this to him earlier in the story. 

Another example of verbal irony occurs later in the story after Patrick is already dead.  Mary has put on a little show for the grocer and she goes back into the house and calls to her husband, "How are you, darling?"  She obviously knows that he is dead, so her asking how he is doing is quite ironic.

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sarajackson63 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 22, 2012 at 12:09 PM (Answer #2)

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When Mary went to the grocery store and came back and asked her husband if he was o.k knowing that he was already dead.

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