"Lamb to the Slaughter"

"Lamb to the Slaughter"

Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahl Lamb to the Slaughter R1E: Develop vocabulary through text. Use context clues.

Lamb to the Slaughter R1F: Apply pre-reading strategies to aid comprehension. Make predictions based on title. Lamb to the Slaughter R1G: During reading, utilize

strategies to self-question and correct, infer, visualize, predict, and check using cueing systems: meaning, structure, visual. Make predictions. Revise predictions. Lamb to the Slaughter

R1H: Apply post-reading skills to comprehend and interpret text questions to clarify, reflect, analyze, draw conclusions, summarize, and paraphrase. Lamb to the Slaughter R1I: Compare, contrast, analyze,

and evaluate connections. Lamb to the Slaughter R2A: Locate, interpret, and apply information in title, table of contents, and glossary, and recognize the text features of fiction, poetry, and drama in grade-level text.

Understand situational and dramatic irony. Analyze situational and dramatic irony. Lamb to the Slaughter R2C: Use details from text to analyze character, plot, setting, point of view, and development of theme; evaluate proposed solutions; analyze the

development of a theme across genres; evaluate the effect of authors style and complex literary techniques. Write a character analysis. Lamb to the Slaughter ambiguity Ambiguous situations have different

possible results. Origin of the title Origin of the title Excerpt from a 1950s Home Economics Textbook

Compiled by Ms. Leslie Blankship Columbus, Ohio Have dinner ready: Plan ahead even the night before to have a delicious meal on time. This is a way of letting

him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospects of a good meal are part of the warm welcome needed.

Prepare yourself: Take 15 minutes to rest so you will be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. He has just been with a lot of work-wary people. Be a little gay and a little more interesting. His boring day may need a

lift. Clear away the clutter: Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives, gathering up school books, toys, paper,

etc. Then run a dust cloth over the tables. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift, too. Prepare the children: Take a few

minutes to wash the children's hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair, and if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.

Minimize all noise: At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of washer, dryer, dishwasher, or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quite. Be happy to see him. Greet him with a warm smile and be glad to see him.

Some don'ts: Don't greet him with problems or complaints. Don't complain if he's late for dinner. Count this as minor compared with what he might have gone through that day.

Make him comfortable: Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or suggest he lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soft soothing and pleasant voice. Allow him to relaxunwind.

Listen to him: You may have a dozen things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first.

Make the evening his: Never complain if he does not take you out to dinner or to other places of entertainment. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure, his need to be home and relax.

The goal: Try to make your home a place of peace and order where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit. Source: http://www.coax.net/people/lwf/TEXTBOOK.HTM

Now its time to read Dark Humor Dark humor is the use of the grotesque, morbid, or absurd for darkly comic purposes. Dark Humor

Dark humor became widespread in popular culture, especially in literature and film, beginning in the 1950s; it remains popular toward the end of the twentieth century. Joseph Hellers novel Catch-22 (1961) is one of the best-known examples in American fiction.

Dark Humor The image of the cheerful housewife suddenly smashing her husbands skull with the frozen joint of meat intended for his dinner is itself darkly humorous for its unexpectedness and the grotesque incongruity of the murder weapon.

Dark Humor There is a morbid but funny double meaning, too, in Marys response to her grocers question about meat: Ive got meat, thanks. I got a nice leg of lamb from the freezer.

Dark Humor She did indeed get a leg of lamb from the freezer, and after she used it as a club, she found herself with a rather large portion of dead meat on her living-room floor. Dark Humor

Also darkly funny is the grocers question about what she plans to give her husband afterwards, that is, for dessert. From Marys point of view, Patrick has already gotten his just desserts, and there will be no more afterwards for him! Dark Humor

The ultimate example of dark humor in Lamb to the Slaughter is, of course, the spectacle of the policemen and detectives sitting around the Maloney kitchen table, speculating about the murder weapon while they unwittingly devour it. Setting

The setting is symbolic: Its domestic primness implies Marys having bought into a rather boring version of middle class happiness. Symbols The frozen leg of lamb is also symbolic and indeed constitutes the central symbol

of the story. The piece of meat is already a token of violence: an animal traditionally viewed as meek and gentle slaughtered for carnivorous consumption. Symbols The notion of a lamb, moreover, resonates with biblical symbols, such as the

scapegoat mentioned in Leviticus, the ram that substitutes for Isaac in the tale of Abraham and Isaac, or Jesus himself, the Lamb of God. But Dahls story reverses the connotation of these biblical images. Themes

BETRAYAL Patrick Maloneys unexplained decision to leave his pregnant wife. This violation of the marriage-vow is obviously not the only betrayal in the story, however. Marys killing of her husband is perhaps the ultimate betrayal. Her elaborately planned alibi and

convincing lies to the detectives also constitute betrayal. Themes IDENTITY At the level of popular psychology, Dahl makes it clear through his description of

the Maloney household that Mary has internalized the middle class ideal of a young mid-twentieth-century housewife, maintaining a tidy home and catering to her husband; pouring drinks when the man finishes his day is a gesture that comes from movies and magazines of the day.

Themes IDENTITY Marys sudden murderous action shatters the image that we have of her and that she seems to have of herself. Dahl demonstrates, in the deadly fall of the

frozen joint, that identity can be fragile. Themes IDENTITY Once she shatters her own identity, Mary must carefully reconstruct it for protective purposes, as when she sets up an alibi by

feigning a normal conversation with the grocer. Themes IDENTITY Dahl appears to suggest that, in essence, human beings are fundamentally nasty

and brutish creatures capable of precipitate and bloody acts. Themes IDENTITY Then there are the police detectives, who pride themselves on their ability to solve a

crime, but whom Mary sweetly tricks into consuming the main exhibit. Their identity, or at least their competency, is thrown into doubt. Themes 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. Themes LOVE AND PASSION

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. Themes LOVE AND PASSION Patrick is presumably motivated to leave his

wife by an overriding passion for something or someone else. Marys mention of his failure to advance at work, and his own wish that she not make a fuss about their separation because It wouldnt be very good for my job indicate that it may be professional success that he desires.

His treatment of his wife does not suggest that he loves her. Themes PASSIVITY The concept of passivity figures in the story. The first pages of the story portray Marys existence as almost mindlessly passive: she

sits and watches the clock, thinking that each minute brings her husband closer to her. Themes PASSIVITY She is content to watch him closely and try to anticipate his moods and needs. Patricks predictability up to this point is part

of this passivity. The two are living a clockwork life against which, in some way, each ultimately rebels. Passivity appears as the repression of passion, and passion finds a way to reassert itself. Themes

JUSTICE AND INJUSTICE The question of justice and injustice is directly related to the question of revenge. Lamb to the Slaughter narrates a train of injustices, beginning with Patricks betrayal of Mary and their marriage, peaking with Marys killing of Patrick, and finding its denouement in Marys deception of the investigating

officers. Themes JUSTICE AND INJUSTICE Patrick acts unjustly (or so it must be assumed on the basis of the evidence) in announcing his abandonment of Mary, for this breaks the wedding oath; Mary acts

unjustly, in a way far exceeding her husbands injustice, in killing Patrick, and she compounds the injustice by concealing it from the authorities. Lamb to the Slaughter ambiguity A wolf is trapped near town. Wildlife

rescuers set it free in the mountains so it wont bother the townspeople. Will the wolf eventually cause trouble for these townspeople? ambiguous Lamb to the Slaughter ambiguity

A student needs at least a B on a test to pass a class and stay on the basketball team. He studies hard and gets a 90 on his test. Does he stay on the basketball team? unambiguous Lamb to the Slaughter

ambiguity A quality that allows readers to interpret a story or other work in more than one way. Lamb to the Slaughter Academic vocabulary

verbal irony verbal irony (saying something)

(the opposite of what is expected) (saying something

that is the opposite of what is expected or true) Lamb to the Slaughter Academic vocabulary

situational irony Lamb to the Slaughter Academic vocabulary dramatic irony

Lamb to the Slaughter Academic vocabulary verbal irony Lamb to the Slaughter Academic vocabulary

contradiction Lamb to the Slaughter Academic vocabulary ambiguous Lamb to the Slaughter

Academic vocabulary subtleties Lamb to the Slaughter Academic vocabulary mood

Lamb to the Slaughter Academic vocabulary tone Lamb to the Slaughter Academic vocabulary

reliability of sources Lamb to the Slaughter Academic vocabulary bias

Lamb to the Slaughter Academic vocabulary analogy Lamb to the Slaughter Academic vocabulary

prefix Lamb to the Slaughter Academic vocabulary suffix Lamb to the Slaughter

Academic vocabulary root word Lamb to the Slaughter Academic vocabulary plot

Lamb to the Slaughter Academic vocabulary synonym Lamb to the Slaughter Academic vocabulary

text structure Lamb to the Slaughter Academic vocabulary inference

Lamb to the Slaughter Academic vocabulary cause and effect Lamb to the Slaughter Academic vocabulary

antonym Lamb to the Slaughter Context clues When you come across an unfamiliar word, look for clues in the contextthe words

surrounding the unknown word. Lamb to the Slaughter Context clues In the following examples, the context clues help you figure

out the meaning of the unknown word. Lamb to the Slaughter Context clues Similarly, when you are asked to write a sentence using a new

word, you should include a context clue to demonstrate that you understand the word. Lamb to the Slaughter Context clues DEFINITION

Her instinct, or automatic response, is to run away. Lamb to the Slaughter Context clues RESTATEMENT She knows what the penalty is

and will accept her punishment. Lamb to the Slaughter Context clues EXAMPLE Her action might bring relief

for example, it would end the anger she felt. Lamb to the Slaughter Context clues COMPARISON Ice cubes clinking in a glass

sound like pencils tapping on a table. Lamb to the Slaughter Context clues CONTRAST Although she looks tranquil,

she doesnt feel peaceful. Lamb to the Slaughter Vocabulary administered Lamb to the Slaughter

Vocabulary premises Lamb to the Slaughter Vocabulary luxuriate

Lamb to the Slaughter Vocabulary placid Lamb to the Slaughter Vocabulary

precinct Lamb to the Slaughter Vocabulary hospitality

Lamb to the Slaughter Vocabulary anxiety Lamb to the Slaughter Vocabulary

consoling

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