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?

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The Cambridge Dictionary defines black comedy as a film/play/etc. that "looks at the funny side of things that we usually consider to be very serious, like death and illness." Dahl's story "Lamb to the Slaughter" works quite well as this kind of comedy, and I'm reminded of that every time I use it in class because students always find the story funny; however, they realize that what they are laughing at shouldn't be funny. Probably the best, specific example of this story incorporating black comedy is the story's ending. Mary laughs to herself after the one officer comments that the murder weapon must be right under their noses. Mary is laughing because she realizes exactly how literal the statement can be taken. Audiences realize this too and chuckle at the naive police officers, but we also hesitate from laughing farther because we realize it is slightly gross to be eating the murder weapon, and we realize that Mary is going to get away with murder/manslaughter.

The story's title is...

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