Wrath of a Woman Scorned

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Chia Xiong Professor O’Klock English 1A: Essay #2 The Literary Paper October 15, 2011 Wrath of a Woman Scorned In the short story, “Lamb to the Slaughter”, Roald Dahl reveals that an insensitive man can be the brunt recipient of the wrath of a woman scorned. The story begins with a woman named Mary and her husband Patrick Maloney. Mary was a housewife. Roald Dahl describes Mary as having a smiling face that gave her a quiet and peaceful look yet she can be violent or disturbed. She was six month pregnant, her skin translucent, and her eyes appeared bigger and less shining. Mary was very observant of her husband, to the point where she counted every minute until his key was turning in the door lock. Contrary to his wife, Patrick did not speak much; he sat silently with far away looks at his wife, and listened to her rant and rave. He was a senior police detective. The setting of the story was on an “eat-out” Thursday night and Mary is settled in her cozy and tidy living room waiting patiently for her husband to come home from work. Mary even prepared his favorite drink on the ready; ice, sparkling water and whiskey, to ease her husband’s tension from a day’s hard work. Unfortunately, this night was different because Patrick took a second helping of his drink. The rising action started when Patrick sat his wife down, and gave her the shock of her life. Selfishly he expected, his wife, Mary to not place too much responsibility upon him and said, “…there needn’t be any fuss. It wouldn’t be good for my job.” (Page 3) Horrified, Mary could not believe the news. The man that she adored, the man she loved from the comical form of his mouth to how he walked across a room, could not be telling her of his betrayal. One thing that Mary enjoyed about her husband, “She loved to luxuriate in the presence of this man…” (Page 1) In denial, Mary rejected

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