Can someone help me compare and contrast "Lamb to the Slaughter" and "The Gift of Magi"?compare and contrast the effectiveness of these endings. Explain which story is more believable and cite...

Can someone help me compare and contrast "Lamb to the Slaughter" and "The Gift of Magi"?

compare and contrast the effectiveness of these endings. Explain which story is more believable and cite examples to reinforce the claim.

Ive read both stories but Im stuck on this question.

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Speaking only of the endings, I think that both of these stories are effective.  At least, both of the endings make me happy.  I think that both stories ended up in the ways that the characters deserved them to end.

As far as which is more believable, I think that "Gift" is more believable.  I think this is just because it relies on fewer things.  All that has to happen for it to come out right is that Jim has to act as a good husband would.

By contrast, for Mary to get away with what she did in "Lamb" takes a lot more luck.  She first has to kill Patrick with one blow.  She then has to keep her head enough to set up her alibi and to deal with the police.  Finally, the police have to not be too suspicious.

coachingcorner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In comparing the two short stories "Lamb to the Slaughter" by Roald Dahl and "The Gift of The Magi" by O Henry, you could look at the different ways in which the characters changed at the end. One changed through fear, and some changed through experience. Also look at revelation - what is uncovered in each short story? What are the reactions of the characters towards each other as the story unfolds to its close? In whbich story did characters learn something positive? In which were they left in the dark? In "Lamb to the Slaughter" one character is in total control - what about in the other short story? Talk about sharing/partnership and lack of it too.

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Lamb to the Slaughter

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