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Lamb To The Slaughter

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Characterization, a method that an author chooses to develop his/her character, is a very important element in a story. In “Lamb to the Slaughter,” Roald Dahl, effectively develops the protagonist both directly and indirectly; however, the use of indirect characterization is more dominant because it reveals her actions and how she deals with her conflict, her words, and creating a dynamic character with her words, and her personality. First, she seems like a typical house-wife longing for her husband to return, but something is odd about this particular day; “There was a slow smiling air about her, and about everything she did…was curiously tranquil…the eyes, with their new placid look, seemed larger, and darker than before” (108). It was almost as if she is expecting something unusual to happen, and that she is preparing for that specific moment. In addition, her actions change from being a wife-pleasing-husband, to a self-conscious woman that knew all of a sudden, exactly what to do, as if she had been prepared for months. Also, in the beginning of the story she is described as a inoffensive, harmless person, but immediately after her husband reveals his burden, she becomes unstable and almost naturally she hits her husband. She “…simply walked up behind him and without any pause she swung the big frozen leg of lamb…and brought it down as hard as she couldвЂ¦Ð²Ð‚Ñœ (111). And as strange as it looks, she goes somewhat through a metamorphoses, from being a content house-wife, to a maniac, possessed woman, to the point of killing her husband. Second, she reveals through her words, her duplicity and deceitfulness by exterminating all the evidence left. When the police arrived she trying to hide evidence, asks for her husband’s whiskey, “вЂ?Jack…would you mind giving me a drink?вЂ™Ð²Ð‚¦Ð²Ð‚™You mean this whiskey?вЂ™Ð²Ð‚¦Ð²Ð‚™Yes, pleaseвЂ™Ð²Ð‚¦Ð²Ð‚™Why don’t you eat up that lamb that is in the oven?вЂ™Ð²Ð‚¦Ð²Ð‚Ñœ (115,116), and the reader realizes that she tries to convince others with her deceitful lies, and with a concrete set of credible words, she gets away easily; “She tried a smile. It came out so peculiar…The voice sounded so peculiar too…She rehearsed it several times moreвЂ¦Ð²Ð‚Ñœ (112).



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