Character Analysis Lamb To The Slaughter

1219 Words5 Pages
The short story, “Lamb to the Slaughter,” written by Roald Dahl, is about a pregnant women who kills her husband with a leg of lamb after he tells her that he is leaving. In the story, Dahl uses indirect characterization; specifically thoughts, dialogue, actions, and what others say about the women, to give the reader a detailed look at her inner self. Using indirect characterization, the author is able hint throughout the story that Mary, the main character, is a sociopath, and is very unstable during her pregnancy, without blatantly stating it. A sociopath is defined as

Mary’s thoughts change throughout the story, showing the reader her development as a character. In the beginning, she is a caring wife, who loves her husband dearly and can not wait for him
…show more content…
Generally, Mary is described by others as a kind and caring person, and is never mentioned to be a sociopath or someone with any mental problems. This is, however, used to further prove that she is a sociopath because she is able to trick people, and comes to believe her own lies. When questioned by the police about Mary’s appearance when she was shopping during the murder, Sam, the grocer described her as acting very normal; which is seen when the police, discussing the topic, whisper, “..acted quite normal...very cheerful...wanted to give him a good supper…peas…cheesecake…impossible that she…” (Dahl 7). This shows that despite Mary killing her husband, she acted normal and did not come across as someone who had recently murdered another person. The inclusion of these police notes further the belief that Mary is an unstable sociopath, because she was able to believe her own lie that she did not murder her husband, and came across normal, despite the circumstances. As well, the reader experiences dramatic irony in this situation, because the readers knows that Mart killed her husband, while the detectives do
Open Document