What is the setting of "Lamb to the Slaughter"?

Expert Answers

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

In a literal, physical sense, the bulk of the action in "Lamb to the Slaughter" takes place in the Maloney house. When we first meet Mary Maloney, she's waiting at home for her husband to return from work. When he does, he gives her difficult news, and she goes out to the grocer. This errand is small, but important: Mary Maloney is establishing an alibi by leaving the premises, and her interaction with Sam the grocer is crucial to her story's believability.

There is no exact location or time frame given, but we can infer from the story's publication date—1953—and the presence of an in-home freezer, uncommon until the 1940s, that it probably takes place around the year of its publication. Since this story follows what the Western world would once have considered "traditional" gender roles, and the author himself lived and worked in the United Kingdom, we can also guess—but not guarantee—that the setting might be the UK.

In another sense, the setting can be understood to be the...

(The entire section contains 5 answers and 836 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

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

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on February 20, 2020
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team