lamb to the slaughteruse atleast two adjectives to describe mary maloney at the beginning of the story use a quotation to show u r correct. how does she change in words or actions as the story...

lamb to the slaughter

use atleast two adjectives to describe mary maloney at the beginning of the story use a quotation to show u r correct. how does she change in words or actions as the story progresses

Expert Answers
sciftw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think two good adjectives that describe Mary Maloney at the beginning of the story are devoted and doting.  When readers are introduced to Mary Maloney, she is calmly sitting in a room waiting for her husband to get home.  Her entire being yearns for Patrick to get home. 

Mary Maloney was waiting for her husband to come him from work. 

Now and again she would glance up at the clock, but without anxiety, merely to please herself with the thought that each minute gone by made it nearer the time when he would come.

She isn't working on something in another part of the house.  She isn't out with friends.  She is waiting for the moment that Patrick gets home so that she can happily see that his every need is met.  When Patrick walks in through door, she greets him with a kiss, takes his coat off of his shoulders, makes him a drink and sits down near him in order to "luxuriate" in his presence. 

She took his coat and hung it in the closer. Then she walked over and made the drinks, a strongish one for him, a weak one for herself; and soon she was back again in her chair with the sewing, and he in the other, opposite, holding the tall glass with both hands, rocking it so the ice cubes tinkled against the side.

[...]

She knew he didn’t want to speak much until the first drink was finished, and she, on her side, was content to sit quietly, enjoying his company after the long hours alone in the house. 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.

Mary Maloney is a prime example of the quintessential devoted and doting wife.  Of course that all changes after Patrick tells her whatever he tells her.  She is stunned and not completely in control of herself.  As Patrick finally crashes to the floor, Mary realizes what she has done.  It's here that readers see her change from a focus on caring for Patrick to a focus on caring for herself and her unborn child.  

On the other hand, what about the child? What were the laws about murderers with unborn children? Did they kill then both-mother and child? Or did they wait until the tenth month? What did they do?

Mary Maloney didn’t know. And she certainly wasn’t prepared to take a chance.

Once Mary decides to get away with the crime, readers see a new side of her.  She's intelligent and cunning as shown by how she sets up an alibi for herself and convinces the investigators to eat the murder weapon. 

 

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the very beginning of the story, I see her as domestic, peaceful and patient.  She's also pregnant.  Here is a description of her.

There was a slow smiling air about her, and about everything she did.  The drop of a head as she bent over her sewing was curiously tranquil.

She looks forward to her husband coming home, but is not too interested.  When he does, she describes the quiet silence as "always a blissful time of day."

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In addition to being a tranquil and calm person I would also say that she is completely in love with her husband and loves the role of playing the dutiful wife. She is certainly someone who "luxirates" in his presence as he comes home and has his evening drink. She waits on him and thinks that it is her role to treat him as if she were his slave and he were her lord and king.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I'd say that she is timid at the beginning of the story.  I would also say that she is traditional.  As the story goes on, she breaks out of these characteristics.  She is no longer the traditional wife who goes with what her husband says and does not speak out.  Instead, she stands up for herself and shows strength and cunning by killing her husband and then covering it up.

kiwi eNotes educator| Certified Educator

She is a 'tranquil' and calm person at the beginning of the story, and is content withher life and the future as she sees it. When she is told she will be abandoned, her primeval instincts to protect herself and her child kick in.

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Lamb to the Slaughter

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