How Does Roald Dahl Use Dramatic Irony In Lamb To The Slaughter

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In this world, people advance over their lives into what others recognize as positions of power. Some of these positions include leaders of any group, CEOs, Presidents, elected officials and more. In this day and age, it is easy to believe they are inherently better than normal people, smarter, harder working, or better looking. However this is not the case. Roald Dahl expresses the important theme that people outside of positions of power can be stronger than they appear by exquisitely using dramatic irony, characterization, and situational irony in his short story “Lamb to the Slaughter.” Roald Dahl uses dramatic irony when Mrs. Maloney acts as though she doesn’t know she killed her husband when she goes to the grocer’s, “ ‘How about a nice big slice of cheesecake? I know he likes that.’ [The grocer stated] ‘Perfect’ [Mrs. Maloney] said, ‘He loves it.’ ” (Dahl 379). This quote shows how she is smart enough to get an alibi by…show more content…
Maloney] would glance up at the clock, but without anxiety. Merely to please herself with the thought that each minute gone by made it nearer the time when he would come” (Dahl 382). In this quote and the surrounding paragraph, Mr. Dahl characterizes Mrs. Maloney as being a perfect housewife who is enamored of her husband. He sets up this expectation perfectly simply to crush that expectation and add to his effect of situational irony. When Roald Dahl crushes your expectation of Mrs. Maloney, he uses situational irony to show how strong and unpredictable Mrs. Maloney can be. “At that point, Mary Maloney simply walked up behind him, and without any pause she swung the big frozen leg of lamb high in the air and brought it down on the back of his head” (Dahl 382). Nobody expects the perfect housewife of Mrs. Maloney to be capable of such an act; as such the irony is much stronger due to the way he characterized Mrs. Maloney. Yet even though nobody would expect it, she clearly is capable of the acts that she
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