Lamb to the Slaughter Essay

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Piedmont-Marton is the coordinator of the undergraduate writing center at the University of Texas at Austin. In the following essay, she analyzes the irony behind the title of Dahl's "Lamb to the Slaughter."

"Lamb to the Slaughter" is representative of Dahl's economical style and dry, dark sense of humor. Like all of his short fiction, the narrative in this story is driven by plot, not by character or mood. Readers find themselves dropped into the middle of the action with no knowledge of the background or history of the characters to establish tone or motive. Starting with the double meaning of its title, however, "Lamb to the Slaughter" offers readers a number of opportunities to explore the complexities and possibilities beneath the taut and matter-of-fact surface of the story. Alert and curious readers will find themselves opening narrative trap doors and rummaging through Mary's psyche in search of...

(read more from the Critical Essay #2 section)

This section contains 1,504 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Lamb to the Slaughter Study Guide
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