Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Lamb to the slaughter

Roald Dahl's "lamb to the slaughter" is short story about Mary Maloney, who kills her husband with a lamb.

a picture from Hitchcock's movie
Here are some questions that I want to answer

  • what had the husband said to his wife, before she killed him?

I'm really wondering about what made her so upset that she actually killed him. The first thing that came to my mind when I read it, was that he had had an affair. And we also watched an film of Hitchcock's interpretation, and apparently he had thought of the same thing as me. Anyway, he said something that really upset her, and made her so mad or scared that she killed him. But could it be something  else that Roald Dahl thought of when he wrote it? Maybe he just didn't love her anymore, or that he didn't want to be a father.

  • what happened to the little bloodstain that they found on his head?

This really didn't make sense to me at all. Wouldn't they find that out that the blood wasn't his, but that it actually belonged to a lamb? I mean, i does seem quite odd. And when they had found out that is was blood from a lamb, wouldn't they realised that that lamb was in fact the lamb that they had eaten? It just doesn't add up for me.

  • Did it seem like Mary Maloney had a well-thought plan when she first knocked out her husband?

No, not at all. I think she just made it up as she went. I don't think she had planned to feed the policemen the lamb when she hit her husband with it. And she was actually just lucky  that the policemen accepted the offer. What if they had said no thanks? Then no one would have eaten it, and maybe they would have figured out. An that's not the only thing she was lucky with. What it the grocery man noticed that something was wrong? Or what if someone knocked on the door before she left, and foundt the body? So I don't think that she hade planned anything before right before she was doing it, but that doesn't mean it wasn't smart done.

 I really like this short story. I have read it before, but i still enjoyed it. It's just something about the policemen, who tries to figure out what has happened, eating the murder weapon that I find funny every time.

1 comment:

  1. Yes I agree with you, I like the short story too. Has a nice twist ending I think. When it comes to the blood on the back of his head, I think it was the husband's. Because a frozen lamb will not have any blood on it. I like your reflection on what the husband said. Your guesses are as good as those of mister Hitchcock. Perhaps he just didn't like her any more? But having an affair was my guess though.