Lamb to the Slaughter Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. How are the curtains arranged in the opening of “Lamb to the Slaughter”?

2. “Lamb to the Slaughter” is included in what short story compilation?

3. Who is working at the store when Mary arrives after killing Patrick?

4. How is the drink that Mary mixes for Patrick described after he arrives home in “Lamb to the Slaughter”?

5. After Patrick is confirmed as dead, who arrives next to Mary’s house to join the investigation?

Short Essay Questions

1. How is the theme of passivity in “Lamb to the Slaughter” illustrated through Patrick’s character?

2. What central injustices mark the narrative of “Lamb to Slaughter”?

3. What do you think the outcome will be for Mary based on the ending of the story?

4. What influences can be seen in “Lamb to Slaughter”? When in Dahl’s career was the story written?

5. Why does Mary giggle at the end of “Lamb to Slaughter”?

6. What symbolism surrounds the murder weapon in “Lamb to Slaughter”?

7. What actions does Mary plot on her way home from the store? How do these actions play out?

8. What transitions did American culture (and European culture) and society make in the 1950s?

9. What social and cultural elements influenced the Post-War period in Western literature?

10. How does the author portray women and men differently in “Lamb to the Slaughter”?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Plot Structure

a. Discuss the plot structure of “Lamb to the Slaughter.” In what ways is the narrative related and what effect does this have on the reader?

b. How does “Lamb to the Slaughter” compare with other short stories written during this time period? Are there specific stylistic elements that can be seen in Dahl’s writing?

Essay Topic 2

Describe and discuss Mary’s response when she “discovers” Patrick’s body after returning from the store. Do you think that Mary’s emotions are legitimate or performed? In what ways does her behavior exhibit the qualities of performance? In what ways does her behavior seem to be legitimately driven by emotion?

Essay Topic 3

Describe and discuss Sergeant Jack Noonan in “Lamb to the Slaughter.” How tall is Noonan? How is his behavior characterized? Is Noonan’s character portrayed directly or indirectly in the text? What role does Noonan play in the plot of the story?

(see the answer keys)

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