You are on page 1of 5

Lamb to the Slaughter

A short story by Roald Dahl


A brief resume
This story is about Mary Maloney and her husband
Patrick who was a detective. It seems that she loved
her husband dearly. But shockingly she killed him
when he told her that he was going to leave her. As
she had lived with a detective husband, she knew the
ways to prove herself innocent from the charge of
murdering him. After coming home, she rang up the
police and the detectives and informed them about
the murder of her husband, Patrick. Investigations
went on, but in vain. Nobody could raise a finger of
suspicion on Mary Maloney as there was no evidence
against her. Thus, a murderer moves freely in the
society.
Main Characters
Mary Maloney is a pregnant housewife who is married to Patrick and
who loves him. She thinks she knows everything about him( his
schedule, tastes,)She looks harmless and meek as a lamb at first but
she is so desperate on hearing that Patrick is going to leave her that she
kills him. We also discover another aspect of her personality when she
regains her self control. She manages to manipulate the grocer and the
policemen who are led to believe that she is innocent.
Patrick Maloney: we dont know much about him except that he is
Marys husband and we can imagine that they share a boring routine. He
is a policeman. He wants to tell Mary something and we quickly
understand that he has been unfaithful and wants to get a divorce.


What does this story tell us?
Lamb to the Slaughter allow us to see the
aspects of human perversity , cruelty and the
violence in the relationships between people
.
This tale gives us an cynically individualist
author, as well as some dark humor
elements.
The horror in this short story prevails in the
grotesque
Lamb to the Slaughter is an expression
used to describe someone who does
not know what is coming, someone
inocent , just like a lamb before getting
into the slaughter. Patrick Maloney is
the figurated lamb in this story, as he
remains in the dark about his wife
reactions until she kills him.
Meaning of the title