Lamb to the Slaughter Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 35 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Lamb to the Slaughter.
This section contains 616 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Lamb to the Slaughter Study Guide

Betrayal

"Lamb to the Slaughter" tells of at least one betrayal: Patrick Maloney's unexplained decision to leave his pregnant wife. This violation of the marriage-vow is obviously not the only betrayal in the story, however. Mary's killing of her husband is perhaps the ultimate betrayal. Her elaborately planned alibi and convincing lies to the detectives also constitute betrayal.

Love and Passion

At the beginning of "Lamb to the Slaughter," Mary Maloney feels love and physical passion for her husband Patrick. She luxuriates in his presence, in the "warm male glow that came out of him to her," and adores the way he sits, walks, and behaves. Even far along into her pregnancy, she hurries to greet him, and waits on him hand and foot— much more attentively, it appears from his reactions, than he would like. Patrick is presumably motivated to leave his wife by an overriding passion...

(read more from the Themes section)

This section contains 616 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Lamb to the Slaughter Study Guide
Copyrights
Short Stories for Students
Lamb to the Slaughter from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.