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“Lamb to the Slaughter” This is only a guide to help you understand the story.

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Presentation on theme: "“Lamb to the Slaughter” This is only a guide to help you understand the story."— Presentation transcript:

1 “Lamb to the Slaughter” This is only a guide to help you understand the story.

2 Who is the author? Roald Dahl For what else is Roald Dahl known? James & the Giant Peach (1961) Charlie & the Choc. Factory (1964) Screenplay for Fleming’s James Bond novel You Only Live Twice (1967). Witches

3 The time in which the author wrote the story Remember that the time in which an author writes has an impact on the story. This story was written in 1953. The role of women was very different than today. Most women did not work outside the home and were homemakers or housewives. Women were dependent upon their husbands for money for the most part. Divorce for a woman was not as accepted as it is today. Women did not have equal rights.

4 She is anxiously awaiting her husband Patrick’s return home from a day’s work as a local police officer (detective). What is Mary Maloney doing when the story begins?

5 He is preoccupied and appears to be aggravated at something. He responds to her questions in an irritated, matter-of-fact manner. What is Patrick Maloney’s reaction to his wife’s attentative behavior when he gets home?

6 He is leaving her. What can we assume that Mr. Maloney tells his wife? Remember that in the 1950’s, she would have been shocked even if she knew he planned to leave her; but she had NO clue!

7 She is in such disbelief that she pretends that he didn’t speak at all and says that she will start making dinner. What is her initial reaction to the news?

8 She goes to the basement and gets a frozen leg of lamb to put in the oven. What does she decide to cook?

9 She hesitates. He is rude to her and she hits her husband over the head and kills him. When Mrs. Maloney returns upstairs with the frozen meat, what does she do?

10 She is most concerned about her unborn child. At this point after the murder, what is her primary concern?

11  She places the meat in a pan and puts it in the oven.  She then primps in the mirror and goes to the grocery story. How does Mrs. Maloney establish an alibi?

12 In your opinion, when Mrs. Maloney returns home and “finds” her husband dead on the floor, are her tears real?  No. One might say she rehearsed the whole act on the way home from the store.  Yes. One might say that Dahl writes, “All the old love and longing for him welled up inside her, and she ran over to him, knelt down beside him, and began to cry her heart out. It was easy. No acting was necessary.”

13  She lies about the murder.  She pretends to be sick so she doen’t have to get up and leave the room.  She offers them alcohol to make them feel relaxed.  She uses her husband’s friendships with the officers to her advantage. How does Mrs. Maloney manipulate the police?

14 She asks the police officers for a “favor” - she invites them, the friends and co-workers of Patrick, to eat the dinner that she was cooking – leg of lamb! What is the most important aspect of Mrs. Maloney’s manipulation.

15 ABSOLUTELY! The police officers eat the only piece of evidence! Does Mrs. Maloney get away with murder?

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