Roald Dahl's Lamb To The Slaughter

1890 Words8 Pages
Death, darkness, and looming demise. Most Gothic literature begin in a gloomy, decaying setting, associated with the grim image of death, to create distress and anticipation as booklovers inadvertently fall into the poisonous traps woven with cautiousness by the authors. Traditional literature, like Charles Dickens’ ‘Signalman’, does this by beginning with well-produced portrayal, elaborate language use and supernatural indication. In comparison, contemporary literature, like Roald Dahl’s ‘Lamb to the Slaughter’, utilises familiar setting and a range of characters with different personalities. Both genres build inexplicable anxiety within readers as the plot of individual story progresses as they use a variety of description and literary devices.…show more content…
Yet, the seemingly perfect relationship between significantly crumbles ends with patent gore and shock. Horror stories are usually staged in familiar places, for example in the modern era, haunted households, corpses in the wardrobe, etcetera. By writing about a familiar atmosphere, the author summons fear within the hearts of the readers as they anticipate the same thing will happen to them as they venture past grounds similar to the ones in the story, a psychological feat. Consequently, “the two table lamps alight-hers and the one by the empty chair opposite” depict the cosy aura within the Maloney household. By using the words ‘chair opposite’ and ‘table lamps’, where technology had arisen, the ambience is bright and mellow. By doing this, the readers feel at home, and will be oblivious to the foreshadowing problem that will arise soon after. What’s interesting about Roald Dahl’s piece is the way he quoted the bible in his title. The original use of "Lamb to the Slaughter" is found in the Bible. This phrase is located in both Jeremiah and Isaiah, and it refers to someone who goes innocently and…show more content…
The author uses the character build to create suspense as well by showing that Mary was with a child in her womb, and it is shown in the sentence, “-for this was her sixth month with child-“. By applying the fact that she was pregnant, the author was able to progress with the storyline to build the suspense, by creating a reason for Mary to not turn herself in no matter how much she loved her husband. It also adds to the quality of description in the beginning to create a mellow atmosphere. On top of that, Mary herself had mentioned the name of the murder weapon, thought to be a blow from a sledgehammer, creates apprehension, as shown in “The doc says his skull was smashed all to pieces just like from a sledgehammer”. Although the thought of the lamb being the weapon never crossed their mind, it fuels a sense of confusion and irritation due to the obliviousness of the detectives for not inspecting with precision and reaching a conclusion that the murder weapon was a leg of frozen lamb. To boot, the use of dramatic irony emits dark humour, which also adds to the suspense. This is shown in, "Probably right
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