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. What are the first thoughts that Mary thinks after killing her husband?

2. Mary tells the store clerk that Patrick has caught her without any what?

3. Mary is said to watch Patrick as he relates his statement “with a kind of dazed” what?

4. As the search goes on, Mary knows that there are other policemen searching where?

5. How many police officers initially arrive after Mary calls the police?

Short Essay Questions

1. When does Mary appear the most emotionally vulnerable in the story? Is this emotion true or a performance?

2. Who is Sergeant Noonan in the story? When does he arrive in “Lamb to Slaughter”?

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

4. What conversation between Mary and Sergeant Noonan leads to the destruction of the evidence in “Lamb to Slaughter”?

5. How does the author establish and develop tension through using sound in the beginning of the story?

6. How does Mary’s character transform after hearing Patrick’s news in “Lamb to Slaughter”?

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

8. Where does the rising action take place in the narrative? What happens in the rising action of the story?

9. How is Mary’s love for Patrick indicated through imagery in the story?

10. What ultimate irony is presented at the end of “Lamb to Slaughter”?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the significance of the names in “Lamb to the Slaughter.” Why do you think the author chooses these names for his characters? Is there symbolic significance to the names? What type of heritage do these names imply?

Essay Topic 2

Define “conflict” in literature as well as the subcategories of conflict such as “internal conflict,” “external conflict,” and “relational conflict. What are the internal conflicts that Mary faces in the story? How are these resolved? What relational conflict is established between Mary and Patrick in the story? What is the resolution of this conflict?

Essay Topic 3

Compare the reality of Patrick’s behavior to the depiction of Patrick as seen through Mary’s eyes in the narrative. Where in the story does the reader witness first-hand “that warm male glow that came out of him to her when they were alone together”? How far from reality is this imagery?

(see the answer keys)

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