Lamb to the Slaughter Questions and Answers
by Roald Dahl

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What are the instances of black comedy in the story "Lamb to the Slaughter" by Roald Dahl?

One instance of black comedy in the story "Lamb to the Slaughter" by Roald Dahl is the particularly impulsive choice of a murder weapon: a frozen leg of lamb.

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Authors use black humor to help readers deal with a serious or gruesome issue in a lighter way. It allows us to consider subjects which are often taboo while feeling emotions that are somewhat less intense. Certainly the murder of a husband by his pregnant wife is a serious story, yet in the end, it's hard not to chuckle along with Mary Maloney for getting away with murder.

The story is straightforward and serious as it opens. Mary awaits her husband's return home from work and serves his every need once he arrives. When he drops the bombshell on Mary that he's leaving her, the mood is tense. When she says that she will get dinner and he cuts her off curtly, things are even more tense.

And then Mary Maloney takes that frozen leg of lamb she had planned to serve him and instinctively smashes her husband's head with it. That's a great example of dark humor. Ultimately, murder is not funny, but the fact that the unprepared dinner he refused killed him is worth a chuckle. Who dies by lamb, of...

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