Mary Maloney's Symbolism In Lamb To The Slaughter

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In the world today and in the past, humans have always had a dark, manipulative side to themselves. Often times, that corrupted part of us can be unlocked in situations that bring about our insecurities. People go through numerous methods to be able to cope and face their threats without revealing their inner darkness that has manifested over time. In Mary Maloney’s case in “Lamb to the Slaughter,” a short story by Roald Dahl, she loses her sense of innocence and self-control to terminate the threat as a way of protection. Through the usage of a variety of literary devices in Dahl’s story, he reveals that every person has an inner darkness that can be triggered by situations that can affect his or her ability to think rationally.
One of the
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The connotation “lamb” from the short story title can be symbolized as a sign of innocence, purity, and righteousness. In this context, Mary represents a precious, feeble lamb because throughout her entire life, she has always had a very docile character, where every day she tries her best to please her husband. Her representation as a feeble lamb is considered plot twisting because no one would have expected a pregnant wife to be the slaughter of the husband. So the title, “Lamb to the Slaughter” clarifies the transformation of Mary, from a sweet, docile lamb into a rage, threatening killer. Incidentally, Patrick Maloney could also be seen as another interpretation of a lamb. An innocent lamb usually never expects the fate of their death, so in this case, Patrick never had suspected that his loving wife could commit such a dramatic sin, murder. Moreover, this reveals Mary’s violent side because she assassinates her unborn child’s father. Her cruelty has left her child unable to ever experience a life with her father. The interpretation of the title spotlights Mary’s malicious side finally being exposed. In closing, Mary’s drastic personality change from innocent to evil can be presented through
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