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Lamb To The Slaughter And Hey You Down There Short Story

Good Essays
In both Japanese and English, there is a word which means “a domineering husband”. A wife of such a husband is often depicted as an obedient stay-at-home wife always showing her gratitude to her husband for working for his family. In Lamb to the Slaughter and Hey You Down There!, two main characters appear to be this kind of wives, but the stories reveal their hidden feelings. Though Mary Maloney and Dora Spender’s attitudes toward their husbands seem similar, how they actually think of / feel about their husbands are quite different. Respecting first impressions of Mary and Dora, both of them are typical full-time housewives who think their bosses are their husbands. Firstly, neither of them complains about their husbands’ behaviors. In Lamb…show more content…
Indeed, she feels comfortable seeing him relax at home. In Hey You Down There!, Dora feels it inevitable that Calvin tends to get violent to anything. For example, she says nothing to Calvin even when he goes out of the door “kicking viciously at the tawny cat… (1)”. Secondly, they worry themselves about their husbands’ moods too much. Both of them try hard to guess how their husbands feel. In the first scene Mary asks Patrick some questions such as “Tired, darling? (1)” and “Darling, shall I get your slippers? (1)”. She desperately wants to know why he looks unusual. Dora, compared with Mary, seems to care less about Calvin. However, she speaks to him timidly and her diffident attitude toward him never changes throughout the story. Thirdly, when something bad happens, they tend to feel responsible for it and try to manage it. When Patrick informs Mary of his affair, she tells herself not to believe any of what he has said. From this scene, readers can predict that if Patrick did not ask her to stop cooking supper…show more content…
Patrick is a much more important person to Mary than Calvin is to Dora. First of all, before major events (Revelation of Patrick’s affair and Discovery of people underground) in the stories, Mary thinks Patrick necessary for her life though Dora thinks Calvin’s presence a little burdensome. Mary loves to spend her evening waiting with pleasure for Patrick to come home. She also loves to “luxuriate in the presence of this man (1)”. However, the fact Dora tries to “control the surge of joy… (2)” when Calvin seems to get a heart attack indicates that she has never been comfortable being with him. Readers can presume her tired of caring about him too much, as the text says that he burdens her with chores. Secondly, Mary commits homicide in a fit of despair, but Dora intentionally does not inform Calvin of danger of being eaten. After killing Patrick, Mary is in shock until the noise brings her back to herself. She murders him on an impulse. Contrastingly, Dora hides what may happen to Calvin though there is surely a chance to do so when she follows him to the hole. Thirdly, Mary and Dora’s reactions to their husbands’ deaths are different. Because Mary does not seem clever enough to cry false tears, it is obvious from the tear Mary sheds for the death that she gets upset without a need to pretend to do so. On the other hand, Dora just says “I do declare (6).” without showing her sorrow or pain. She
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