Mary is very much content in her marriage, and believes her husband to be as well. When he returns Mary notices that he is uncharacteristically aloof, and assumes that he is tired from work.
On the sideboard behind her, two tall glasses, soda water, whiskey. Fresh ice cubes in the Thermos bucket. Mary Maloney was waiting for her husband to come home from work. Now and again she would glance up at the clock, Lamb the slaughter without anxiety, merely to please herself with the thought that each minute gone by made it nearer the time when he would come.
There was a slow smiling air about her, and about everything she did. The drop of a head as she bent over her sewing was curiously tranquil. Her skin--for this was her sixth month with child--had acquired a wonderful translucent quality, the mouth was soft, and the eyes, with their new placid look, seemed larger darker than before.
When the clock said ten minutes to five, she began to listen, and a few moments later, punctually as always, she heard the tires on the gravel outside, and the car door slamming, the footsteps passing the window, the key turning in the lock. She laid aside her sewing, stood up, and went forward to kiss him as he came in.
She took his coat and hung it in the closet. Then she walked over and made the drinks, a strongish one for him, a weak one for herself; and soon she was back again in her chair with the sewing, and he in the other, opposite, holding the Lamb the slaughter glass with both hands, rocking it so the ice cubes tinkled against the side.
For her, this was always a blissful time of day. She knew he didn't want to speak much until the first drink was finished, and she, on her side, was content to sit quietly, enjoying his company after the long hours alone in the house. She loved to luxuriate in the presence of this man, and to feel-almost as a sunbather feels the sun-that warm male glow that came out of him to her when they were alone together.
She loved him for the way he sat loosely in a chair, for the way he came in a door, or moved slowly across the room with long strides.
She loved intent, far look in his eyes when they rested in her, the funny shape of the mouth, and especially the way he remained silent about his tiredness, sitting still with himself until the whiskey had taken some of it away.
He lifted his glass and drained it in one swallow although there was still half of it, at least half of it left.
She wasn't really watching him, but she knew what he had done because she heard the ice cubes falling back against the bottom of the empty glass when he lowered his arm. He paused a moment, leaning forward in the chair, then he got up and went slowly over to fetch himself another.
When he came back, she noticed that the new drink was dark amber with the quantity of whiskey in it. I haven't made any supper because it's Thursday. There's plenty of meat and stuff in the freezer, and you can have it right here and not even move out of the chair.
She moved uneasily in her chair, the large eyes still watching his face. I'll fix it anyway, and then you can have it or not, as you like. He had finished the second drink and was staring down into the glass, frowning. She noticed there was a little muscle moving near the corner of his left eye.
I hope you won't blame me too much. It didn't take long, four or five minutes at most, and she say very still through it all, watching him with a kind of dazed horror as he went further and further away from her with each word.
Of course I'll give you money and see you're looked after.
But there needn't really be any fuss. I hope not anyway. It wouldn't be very good for my job. It occurred to her that perhaps he hadn't even spoken, that she herself had imagined the whole thing.
Maybe, if she went about her business and acted as though she hadn't been listening, then later, when she sort of woke up again, she might find none of it had ever happened.As befits a story dealing with appearances and reality, much of “Lamb to the Slaughter” is told through details that Dahl carefully selects and arranges into various patterns to cause the.
"Lamb to the Slaughter" is a short story by Roald Dahl. It was initially rejected, along with four other stories, by The New Yorker, but was ultimately publi.
May 08, · Tales Of The Unexpected, Season 1, Episode 4 Lamb to the Slaughter () — with the introduction by Roald Dahl. A Brief Synopsis of 'Lamb to the Slaughter' The phrase 'like a lamb to the slaughter' actually has a long and distinguished history in biblical and English literature, and you might've even read it yourself somewhere.
While "Lamb to the Slaughter" is a simple and fun story, in order to fully appreciate the story the reader needs to understand the basics of what happens in the story, but also why they happen. This article looks at the reasons behind the events in the story and the basic storytelling choices of the author.
In addition to lambs, other verses in the Bible has other animals going 'to the slaughter', that is, oxen, bullocks and sheep. The allusion to the especial helplessness of lambs was made use of in the film The Silence of The Lambs.