Mary with Murder on Her Mind (Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahl)
In Roald Dahl’s “Lamb to the Slaughter,” a woman named Mary waited patiently for her husband, Patrick, to return home from work. Patrick came home in a horrendous attitude and had horrible news for Mary, he decided he wanted to leave her. The shock had come over Mary in such an intense way that when she went to go grab her frozen dinner she decided to whack him over the head with a leg of lamb, leaving Patrick dead. Later throughout the story, Mary’s actions involving the murder seemed too professional for this to have been her first murder. Mary’s clever behavior throughout the story proved that she has had her mind set on murder for many years, and this showed through her careful planning, choice of the murder weapon, and the innocent act she put on in front of the police officers.
To begin, while dealing with Patrick’s murder Mary seemed to have had every detail planned out too flawlessly and she did not seem to be in shock or devastated in the least bit. Right after Mary killed her husband she goes to the grocery store calm and relaxed, so when Mary goes to talk to the grocer she acts as if she had not killed Patrick and the meal she would be buying would be for him to enjoy. While talking to the grocer Mary expresses herself by saying, “Patrick decided he’s tired and doesn’t want to eat out tonight, we usually go out Thursdays, you know, and now he’s caught me without any vegetables in the house” (Dahl 59). So, then later in the story when the officers asked where she went the evening of the murder and Mary replied by saying at the grocery store, the grocer would have no evidence to give the officers proving Mary as her husband’s killer. Furthermore, for Mary to have known to act casual at the grocery store she must be a skilled murder. Additionally, Mary’s choice of the murder weapon used to kill her husband u also proves her experience with murder. For example, Mary chose to kill Patrick with a leg of lamb because she knew that it could be easily undetected. Mary’s clever thinking got rid of the murder weapon by convincing the offers to consume it, and she did this by saying, “You must be terrible hungry by now because it’s long past your suppertime, and I know Patrick would never forgive me, God bless his soul, if I allowed you to remain in his house without offering you decent hospitality. Why don’t you eat up that lamb that’s in the oven. It’ll be cooked just right by now” (Dahl, 16). A normal person would not think to have police officers digest the weapon they are looking for, so this thinking must have been from a person with a mind for murder. Similarly, the innocent act Mary put on in front of the police officers showed that this certainly must not have been her first act of killing. When Mary called the police she expressed her fake concern by saying, “Quick! Come quick! Patrick’s dead!” (Dahl, 77). The panic Mary had in her voice over the phone to the officers made it seem as if she had no idea what happened to her beloved husband and gave the officers no reason to blame her for Patrick’s death.
In conclusion, throughout the story “Lamb to the Slaughter” by Roald Dahl, Mary’s performance while dealing with her husband’s killing seemed too precise for Patrick to have been her first victim. Mary executed a skilled and well-thought-out murder that only a top-tier killer would have been able to pull off. All in all, Mary’s intelligent behavior throughout the story demonstrated that she has had her master murder plans for many years, and this showed through her specific planning, well-chosen murder weapon, and the clueless act she portrayed in front of the police officers. Mary’s detailed planning throughout Patrick’s killing resembled the thinking of a murder. Also, Mary’s attention to which weapon would be easiest to dispose of showed her killing skills. Lastly, Mary’s flawless act she put on which portrayed cluelessness in front of the police officers showed her talented ability to lie and murder. Some people might have found Roald Dahl’s gruesome stories too alarming, while others might have found his stories intriguing and chilling, do you feel as if you enjoy reading his spine-chilling stories?