Lamb To The Slaughter Mary Maloney

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“All right, she told herself. So I’ve killed him.” The short story “Lamb to the Slaughter” by Roald Dahl follows the protagonist Mary Maloney who, in a fit of anger, murders her own husband. Of course, Mary certainly didn’t start the story as a killer. In fact, there is quite a stark contrast between the Mary at the beginning of the story and the Mary at the end. Throughout the course of this story, Mary goes from a passive and subservient housewife into a seemingly insane murderer.
At the beginning, Mary doesn’t seem to be that deep of a character—simply a wife who does as she’s told. She’s incredibly passive and allows her husband to walk all over her. A testament to this fact is how her husband speaks to her when telling her the news of
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While the story so far has suggested that Mary is innocent and naive, and perhaps even a bit ditzy, the reader can now interpret that she may be out of her mind. “She put the parcel down on the table and went through into the living room; and when she saw him lying there on the floor with his legs doubled up and one arm twisted back underneath his body, it really was rather a shock.” Despite murdering her husband with her own hands, Mary was able to convince herself that nothing was wrong so well that the sight of his dead body is enough to genuinely shock her. In fact, Mary was even humming and smiling to herself earlier—while she was in the confines of her in home, no less, where there was absolutely nobody there for her to act around.
Mary continues on to show more signs of mental instability as the story progresses. “And in the other room, Mary Maloney began to giggle.” By itself, the quote seems to be innocent; however, context here is vital. This line pops up at the end of the story, right after Mary successfully gets rid of the murder weapon by feeding it to the police officers. It’s a bit of an unarguable fact—gleefully giggling at the prospect of getting away with the murder that you had committed surely shows just a bit of
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