How do stereotypes and bias affect the characters in the story "Lamb to the Slaughter"?

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linda-allen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The story "Lamb to the Slaughter" is about a woman named Mary Maloney who kills her husband in a fit of anger. He has just told her that he has been having an affair and that he plans to leave her, and she reacts instinctively, without thinking, and clubs him to death with an unusual weapon.

If these characters are affected by any type of stereotype or bias, it may lie in the fact that the husband is a police officer. The stereotypical cop may be gruff, may drink too much, may take out the stress of the job on his wife and/or children. His wife is the stereotypical meek, mousy housewife who jumps at his every command. Because of who the Mary and her husband are, when the detectives question her about the murder, they never suspect that she may have killed her husband. She adored her police officer husband. Besides, she is too small and too weak to have killed such a strong man. Also, there doesn't seem to be a murder weapon. The killer must have taken it with him.

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Lamb to the Slaughter

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