Lamb to the Slaughter Essay

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In the following essay, Warren gives some background on Dahl's life and analyzes Dahl's position as a writer of horror stories. He likens Dahl's style to that of James Thurber and Saki, other notable twentieth-century humorists who possessed a satiric and sometimes morbid bent.

Roald Dahl is a short story writer of highly unusual gifts whose specialty is what the French term contes cruel, but minus the bloodshed. He is one horror writer who rarely spills blood. His short stories have earned him great distinction not only in the field of horror, but among the great short story writers of the twentieth century, an assemblage that includes James Joyce, Frank O'Connor, John Collier, Saki, Katherine Mansfield, John Cheever, and Ernest Hemingway (who was a personal friend of Dahl's and whose advice on storytelling and the value of economy Dahl took to heart).

Dahl was born in Llandaff, South...

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This section contains 1,380 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Lamb to the Slaughter Study Guide
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