Lamb to the slaughter essay plan

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Essays - Lamb To The Slaughter (Alternate Ending) - Wattpad

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lamb to the slaughter essay plan

Download this LitChart! Themes All Themes. Symbols All Symbols. Theme Wheel. Themes and Colors Key. LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Lamb to the Slaughter , which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. The scene is warm and cozy.

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There are two lamps, two chairs, and two glasses on the table, and drinks and fresh ice ready to be mixed. Mary Maloney is at home alone, sitting across from an empty chair and waiting for her husband to return from work. Active Themes.

Gender and Marriage. Related Quotes with Explanations. When her husband arrives home, Mary greets him with a kiss and an endearment, hangs his coat up for him, and prepares drinks for them both, a strong one for him and a weaker one for herself, before returning to her sewing as he sits down with his whiskey.

Mary fulfills the roles of caregiver and domestic servant through these loving gestures. The fact that Patrick does not reciprocate them highlights the power imbalance of their relationship, which also manifests in the way she prepares their drinks.

What Point of View Is “Lamb to the Slaughter” Told From and Why Is That Important?

As a housewife, Mary is expected to stay in the private sphere of domesticity while her husband goes to work; she has been home alone all day, with no one to talk to. The power imbalance between Mary and her husband is further skewed by her view of him as almost godlike. Download it!

Contrary to their usual ritual, the husband downs half his glass in one swallow and goes to get more, ordering Mary to sit down when she tries to help him. When he returns, his glass has even more whiskey than before. Mary tries to sympathize with the difficulty of his job as a detective, but he ignores her.

The husband reinforces his patriarchal power by giving Mary orders and refusing to acknowledge her efforts as his emotional caregiver. Mary repeatedly asks her husband if he would like something to eat, offering suggestions and insisting that he eat.

He refuses every time, telling her again to sit down when she gets up to fetch the food. While he stares down at his now empty glass, Mary waits nervously and scrutinizes him as he prepares to tell her something.

Lamb to the Slaughter Essay Topics & Writing Assignments

Mary , shocked and unwilling to believe what her husband has told her, decides to act as if nothing has happened. Absently, she goes down to the cellar and grabs a frozen leg of lamb for dinner. When she returns, her husband tells her not to bother, as he is leaving. Her husband, however, rejects both her meal and her. Without warning, Mary walks up to her husband and bashes the back of his head with the frozen leg of lamb , which the narrator notes is as effective as a steel club. Mary carries out her own sudden betrayal by killing her husband here.

Role Reversals. The noise brings Mary out of shock as she recognizes that her husband is dead. Unsure of the consequences for her baby, she resolves to cover up the crime. However, her resolution to survive suggests that her concern for her child exceeds her concern for herself and her marriage.


  1. Alexandra Mayer.
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To do so, Mary puts the murder weapon, the leg of lamb , into the oven and lets it cook. She then washes her hands, fixes her appearance, and practices speaking to and smiling at an imaginary Sam the local grocer , trying to appear as normal as possible.


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  • Lamb to the Slaughter Thesis + 1 Essay.
  • By cooking the leg of lamb for supper, Mary destroys the evidence of her crime. Unlike the murder, which she commits without fully realizing her actions, the cover-up is clearly premeditated. She also refers to her husband by name for the first time in the story. Still crying, Mary tells them that she went out to the grocer and came back to find him dead. More policemen, a doctor, a photographer, and a fingerprint expert arrive, asking Mary questions but also treating her kindly. One of the detectives goes out and confirms her story with Sam.

    Cleverly incorporating kernels of truth into her story, Mary is able to deceive the police, who fail to suspect her as the real culprit. Mary refuses, and the policemen allow her to stay while they search for more evidence.