The lamb is often portrayed as a symbol of innocence. How is this used ironically in the story?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

As you mention, the lamb is typically depicted as a symbol of peace and gentleness; in fact, the lamb resounds with Biblical symbols of peace. In “Lamb to the Slaughter ”; however, the frozen leg of lamb symbolizes much more dreadful and dangerous—it symbolizes violence, death and revenge.   I...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

As you mention, the lamb is typically depicted as a symbol of peace and gentleness; in fact, the lamb resounds with Biblical symbols of peace. In “Lamb to the Slaughter”; however, the frozen leg of lamb symbolizes much more dreadful and dangerous—it symbolizes violence, death and revenge.   I also believe that it is a perfect example of dramatic irony, as well, because the audience is aware of what is going on as the officers eat the lamb.  The characters are not aware, however, that they are eating the murder weapon.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team