Dahi said:"I began to realize how simple life could be if one had a regular routine to follw with fixed hours, a fixed salary and very little orginal thinking to do." How is this quote embedded in...

Dahi said:"I began to realize how simple life could be if one had a regular routine to follw with fixed hours, a fixed salary and very little orginal thinking to do."

How is this quote embedded in "Lamb to the Slaughter" describing Mary Maloney's life?

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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This quote mirrors the life of Mary Malone who, since the beginning of the story, is described extensively as someone who has reached a point of comfort in her life and in her marriage where she feels extremely safe. She does follow a routine, like Roald Dahl explains in his quote. From what can be gathered at the very beginning, she cleans her home, cooks, sets up a comfort area for the husband, waits for him to come home, and feeds him his dinner.

She is pregnant, so there is very little to think about other than the coming baby, and how the family will now be bigger than usual; since there is a routine already in place, there is absolutely nothing that Mary Malone likes: she has achieved the ultimate comfort zone.

She loved to luxuriate in the presence of this man, and to feel-almost as a sunbather feels the sun-that warm male glow that came out of him to her when they were alone together.

Hence, it must have been a massive shock for Mary to have this strongly-well founded world rocked so savagely by the news that her husband was leaving her, and her unborn baby, "just because". It is no wonder that Mary goes through what Roald Dahl illustrates as a moment of sudden psychosis that leads Mary to, almost in an automated manner, walk to her husband with the leg of lamb she is about to cook, and strike him on the back of his head to the point of killing him in one blow.

This is what Dahl is trying to explain in his quote. In describing the Malone household, he wants to set up an atmosphere of safety and security that seems almost unrivaled by the outside world. To live in such a niche symbolizes being able to rest, and live life with very little to do, because there is nothing to change about life. Yet, this seemingly strong home comes crashing down in no time and this is what makes Mary to literally lose herself in sudden desperation.

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