Question: "She loved the warmth that came out of him when they were alone together. She loved the shape of his mouth, and she especially liked the way he didn't complain about being tired." How would you describe the relationship between Mary and Patrick Maloney? Provide from the text above to support your answer.  So, am I supposed to find an answer out of the short text provided for me, or am I supposed to refer to the short story "Lamb to the Slaughter?"   

Expert Answers

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You could analyze this quote and determine certain things about their relationship. From this quote alone, it is clear that Mary is dedicated to her husband. She experiences a "warmth" just being in Patrick's presence. She even loves that he does not complain about being tired. From this quote, we can conclude that she loves all of the little things about him. 

However, to make a more complete assessment of their relationship, you will have to refer to other parts of the story. She waits for her husband to come home. It seems that she structures her entire day in order to prepare for his arrival. This even more clearly demonstrates her love and admiration for her husband. When he arrives, she waits on him like a maid. Given her devotion and comfort in their marriage, it is understandable why she is so shocked when he informs her that he is leaving her. Again, given her admiration for him, it heightens the reader's shock upon reading of her revenge and strategic plan to cover up her crime. So, you do need to refer to other parts of the story to get "the whole story" of their relationship. 

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