Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Lamb to Slaughter?

The short story Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahl tells the tale of love and betrayal and vengeance and retribution with an interesting evidentairy twist or wrinkle. Why do you think the author chose this title? Have you ever heard someone say something is like a "lamb to the slaughter"? Ask your family or friends for their explanation of what it means to them. Then Google it - I did - lamb to slaughter saying - and got this.

Read the explanations you find and look at the history of the saying. Now think again, using evidence from the short story, what are the enduring messages, the controlling ideas, the themes? Then try to come up with an answer to the original question: Why do you think the author chose this title?


  1. In general, the term "lamb to the slaughter" refers to the way in which someone or something unknowingly or willingly meets their demise. For this story, the lamb could be Mr. Maloney, who by telling his wife something terrible and life changing and then standing with his back turned, meets his death. Or better yet, the lambs in this case could be the detectives, who are led to unknowingly eat the evidence that they are seeking, unknowingly bringing an end to their search for a weapon. Themes? Devotion, followed by betrayal, followed by revenge. Why chose the name? the irony of an actual leg of lamb that does the "slaughtering" is my best guest. Hope I passed! :)

    -Tom Stark (Courtney's dad)

  2. I think that he purposely thy to put a twist in the saying the lamb to slaughter yet he hid a nother meaning to the phrase. i think that when ms. maloney killed mr. maloney that she thought that she was a lamb to slaughter. yet she ended up to turn the tables and not get caught with it.

    Matthew Martin

  3. the meaning should be that the innosent is being token down for something small

  4. The story "lamb to the slaughter" had a weird twist.I think that when mrs.malony killed she was in a transe and she didnt know what she was doing...soo min kim (soo min kim's clone)

  5. Great story! I find myself pondering if the lamb is the husband or the police, maybe even the grocery man who was set up to provide the perfect alibi. Just for fun let me add another dimension....maybe Mrs. Malony is the lamb and her guilty conscience may be her ultimate slaughter? Mrs. Malony seems to have lived for her husband and now she has single handedly taken away what she valued the most.
    Thanks for inviting me to post with you!
    Mrs. Bucek

  6. I think the author titeld the story lamb to slaughter because its a metaphor for something horrible. I think the real lambto slaughter is the husband because he drove her to do this while she was pregnat witch could hava also provoced her to do this as well.The police should have beed more observant and should have noticed that the leg was the murder weapon.
    -Marie Davidson

  7. i think from the beginning of the story shes been feeding her husband to stuff him.So he wont run, and she could kill him with ease with a weapon that will be easy to cover up.
    -nelson correa

  8. I think that the atuor is trying tell u THINK BFORE U ACT like if the lady first thinked then she might do thing diffrent
    Romina per:7/8

  9. well , really everything happens for a reason but in this situation she doesnt want to accept the reality shes trying to make things seem normal in her own little world , the news is so over welliming she is pushing and pushing it until finally SNAP she does the unthinkable kills the love her life..but then everything truns around back on her.She doesnt want to take resbonisblity for the mistake.
    -And for the title Lamb To Slaughter brings me to the bilbe , as when they use to sacrific the cleanest,white,coated lamb (image for no sin) and for this stroy Mr.Malony is the lamb to slaughter.

  10. despite times cal 4 despite measures

  11. deprite times calls 4 desprite measures
    she loved him but he was gonna leave her cuz he was gonna be with a diferent ladie she went all crazy & went ahead & killed him after she did that she was like omg! i didnt mean it but he was already dead & she didnt wanna go 2 jail

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