Patrick leads into the conversation with the hope she won’t blame him too much.It then says that he told her, though not exactly what, and ends with him saying that he will take care of her.
In addition to this, by not telling the reader exactly what happened, it gives far more power to the reader in the interpretation of her later actions.
By not knowing exactly what he said, it lets the reader decide if Mary’s actions in the rest of the story are justified or not. This bit of information is vital to the story in a number of ways.
Define “black comedy” and discuss how black comedy applies to the story “Lamb to the Slaughter.” What elements in the story are funny? Do you think the author intends for the reader to find the story humorous or frightening?
Describe the setting of “Lamb to the Slaughter” and the time period in which the short story was published.
This choice to tell the story from the point of view of the murderer is an interesting choice and one that largely defines this story. At times, such as the end of the story, this means that the reader knows more than the other characters, especially in relation to the leg of lamb.
On the other hand, the reader is not given access to the reasoning behind Patrick’s decision to leave.The motherly instinct of protection is invoked by this understanding as anyone can understand the instinct of a mother protecting her child and the fear of execution is vital to making Mary a more positive character.In the middle of the conversation between Patrick and Mary, the narration changes for a single paragraph at the very climax of the conversation.Is the story told from a first, second, or third person point of view? "Lamb to the Slaughter" is told from the point of view of Mary Maloney.In the story, Mary asks the detectives to eat the leg of lamb she had made for her husband, and even when they turn it down, she insists that they eat this.This insistence is important beyond simply the idea that it is the murder weapon.What literary movements took hold in America and Europe during the Post-War period? How is the setting of the 1950s evident in the story?Define “narrative point of view” and discuss the point of view of “Lamb to the Slaughter.” Is the story related in the past, present or future tense?By having the detectives eat the lamb, they have destroyed the evidence which will make them look stupid even if they later understand.This will discourage them from thinking of it as a weapon.