In Lamb to the Slaughter is Mary Maloney a cold murderer or a victim of circumstances?  

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Mary is no victim. She is obviously a very resourceful and clever woman who was put in a very challenging situation. She may not be a victim, but her circumstances definitely made her react as if she were a cold blooded killer. In all, Mary would definitely be considered someone who could have become a victim of circumstances but, in a radical way, she chose not to become one. 

The epithet "cold blooded" has its origins in the way that psychologists approximate the behavior of psychopaths to that of someone who cannot be human-like. Since all of us are warm-blooded, a "cold blooded" individual would be, by definition, not normal; he or she is someone who stands out negatively. In the case of a psychopath, this cold...

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