‘‘Lamb to the Slaughter’’ is representative of Dahl’s economical style and dry, dark sense of humor. Like all of his short fiction, the narrative in this story is driven by plot, not by character or mood. Readers find themselves dropped into the middle of the action with no knowledge of the background or history of the characters to establish tone or motive. Starting with the double meaning of its title, however, ‘‘Lamb to the Slaughter’’ offers readers a number of opportunities to explore the complexities and possibilities beneath the taut and matter-of-fact surface of...
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