Lamb to the Slaughter Questions and Answers
by Roald Dahl

Lamb to the Slaughter book cover
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Why does Mary force the police officers to eat the lamb in "Lamb to the Slaughter"?

Mary encourages the officers to eat the leg of lamb because it is the weapon she used to kill her husband. After they eat it, she has gotten rid of the evidence that links her to the murder.

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In Roald Dahl’s “Lamb to the Slaughter”, Mary implores the police officers to eat the lamb that she used to murder her husband. Mary’s husband was a detective, so she knows that the murder weapon will give her away. The fact that the reader knows that the lamb is the murder weapon, but the police officers do not, is an example of dramatic irony.

The murder in this story is a “perfect crime” because they would be unable to prosecute Mary without the murder weapon. Even though it was not premeditated, Mary still commits the murder and reacts by creating a plan to hide her crime. She notes, “how clear her mind became all of a sudden" and she "began thinking very fast.” She decides that she will “do everything normally." She wants to keep "things absolutely natural and there'll be no need...

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