Explain black humour and dramatic irony with examples from the story "Lamb to the Slaughter"? How would you react in situations similar to that of the story?

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Dramatic irony occurs when the reader or audience member knows something that the characters in the story do not know. This kind of irony occurs in "Lamb to the Slaughter " at the very end of the story. The investigating officers are having dinner at Mary's house, and they...

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Dramatic irony occurs when the reader or audience member knows something that the characters in the story do not know. This kind of irony occurs in "Lamb to the Slaughter" at the very end of the story. The investigating officers are having dinner at Mary's house, and they are adamant that the murder weapon has to be in the house and close by.

“Personally, I think it’s right here on the premises.”

“Probably right under our very noses. What you think, Jack?”

And in the other room, Mary Maloney began to giggle.

The one officer even says that the weapon has to be so close that it is likely right under their noses. It's a superb example of dramatic irony because the reader knows without a doubt that the weapon is quite literally right under their noses. It has been cooked and placed on the plate right in front of them. The irony is quite humorous, but it is definitely dark humor. Mary is feeding the murder weapon to the officers. These are men that used to work with Patrick, and she knows them on a personal level. That's dark, but it's made even darker by Mary giggling about it. She's not remorseful or filled with regret and fear over her actions. She's giddy with excitement about her actions.

How a person would react to this kind of thing in real life will differ from person to person. I can laugh and chuckle at this story because I know it's a fictional story. However, I would be horrified to find out if something like this actually happened. On the flip side, I might actually have to give the guilty person a lot of credit for coming up with an alibi like that on the spot and finding such a great way to permanently get rid of the murder weapon.

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Well, the end of the story is the biggest instance of black humor when she serves the policemen the murder weapon for dinner (the leg of lamb with which, while frozen, she hit her husband over the head and killed him). That is also dramatic irony because her husband himself was a policeman, and you would think that she would be the primary suspect, like it would happen in a real situation where there are no other witnesses that could appeal to the contrary.

In a situation similar to the story I would think that she snapped. She was pregnant, happy to be married, and he was totally nonchalant about how told her that he was leaving her. He would have changed her life by turning it upside down. I think I would have snapped too. And blame it on hormones.

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