What makes 'Lamb to the Slaughter' by Roald Dahl enjoyable(humour,shock etc)-Quote how he has chosen words.What makes 'Lamb to the Slaughter' by Roald Dahl enjoyable(humour,shock etc)-Quote how he...

What makes 'Lamb to the Slaughter' by Roald Dahl enjoyable(humour,shock etc)-Quote how he has chosen words.

What makes 'Lamb to the Slaughter' by Roald Dahl enjoyable(humour,shock etc)-Quote how he has chosen words.

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herappleness's profile pic

M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Lamb to the Slaughter, by Roald Dahl, is one of my favorite short stories because it includes nearly all of my favorite themes. First, the fact that a woman snaps and loses herself, killing the man who is about to leave her (perhaps for another woman). Second, the fact that she acted quick to conceal her crime and came up with such a magnificent idea: To feed the murder weapon to someone. Third, I love how the irony develops as the policemen come to her house and sit down to eat the evidence. It is Roald Dahl as his best. He can put the irony, the wit, and the fun in just about everything he writes.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

For me, the enjoyable thing here is the fact that the outcome is so unexpected and the fact that I respect Mary so much for standing up for herself.  The first post discusses the unexpectedness of the story.  I would add that it is very easy to like Mary and dislike Patrick.  Once you feel this way, the story is quite enjoyable because Mary gets to take her just revenge and then get away with it in quite a clever way.

kiwi's profile pic

kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

Roald Dahl was masterful at composing black humour - the amusement built on shock and in some cases, repulsion.

The idea of orderly, pregnant Mary Maloney killing her husband with a symbol of domesticity - the roast dinner  - has a cruel humour. It is an unexpected yet effective weapon and her husband, a police officer, never 'saw it coming'.  Even more darkly compelling and entertaining is the fact that the police officers eat the perfectly cooked murder weapon, enjoying the roast as a thankyou for their efforts in investigating Mr Maloney's murder. They 'tidy up' after the crime and leave no evidence of Mary's crime. 

user3826968's profile pic

user3826968 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

Probably to create suspense. Mary was in shock, we knew that he will leave her when he said "Of course I'll give you money and see that you're looked after".

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