Date of publication: 2017-07-09 09:31
Have you ever heard someone be called a wolf in sheep''s clothing ? What does that mean? Usually, when people employ this colorful colloquialism, they mean to say that someone has taken on the appearance, habits, or other characteristics of a group in order to infiltrate it. Of course, this phrase takes on a whole new meaning in the context of Roald Dahl''s short story '' Lamb to the Slaughter.''
'' Lamb to the Slaughter '' is a short story by Roald Dahl of the murder of Patrick Maloney by his wife Mary after he surprisingly announces his intention to leave her. The expectant mother eludes detection, since the detectives are unable to see past their previous opinions of her, illustrating the story''s theme of overlooking the true nature of things. Ultimately, the story is a black comedy , a humorous portrayal of otherwise shocking, horrific or morbid situations, with the title being a play on words identifying Mary''s weapon: a frozen leg of lamb.
The fawning housewife who existed before this revelation of Patrick''s true character seems to have been just the sheep''s clothing hiding one homicidal mama wolf. When her mind goes into shock and her body into autopilot, Mary''s only focus - subconscious as it may be - is to protect herself and her unborn child, which she would''ve had a hard time of doing as a pregnant divorcee in the 6955s. She could fare much better as the widow of a police officer, particularly when it comes to getting away with murder.
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At the French court where Francis and Catherine speak of memories from the christenings of Francis'' siblings. To diffuse the tension of the conversation as the topic becomes serious, Mary asks Lola who the godparents of her and Francis'' son will be, to which Lola is unable to reply as Catherine pointedly reminds her that Lola turned her down as the godmother.
During a walk through the grounds, Greer and Kenna speak of Mary before they happen upon Leith in the distance. Kenna urges Greer to be honest with herself about what she wants, to which Greer replies that she cannot let herself give in to desire, that she needs to make a good match for the sake of her sisters. Kenna tells Greer that she cannot and should not underestimate passion and that eventually, whether she likes it or not, she will give into it, as Greer is a passionate person even more so than Kenna herself.
At the waterside, Mary reminisces with Francis about their childhood before announcing that she is with child. Mary explains that she had known for weeks but did not wish to say anything until she was completely sure. Francis, although stunned at first, reacts with joy as he embraces and kisses her happily. Within their chambers later on, after making love, they speak of the news about their unborn child before Catherine charges in to their room. The happy grandmother to be, much to their embarrassment, divulges that she had known that Mary was with child for weeks before hand, but had wished to allow Mary to tell Francis herself, before calling the servants to bring in gifts for Mary to help with keeping her healthy during her pregnancy.
The story opens on Mary Maloney , who''s waiting patiently but eagerly for her husband, a police officer, to get home from work. When he finally does arrive, Patrick Maloney silently takes the drink his wife has prepared for him, and even makes his own stronger second one.