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Lamb to the Slaughter: Question Summary Paragraphs

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Lamb to the Slaughter: Question Summary Paragraphs

3) look at the dialogue between Mary and Patrick. What can we tell about their relationship from their dialogue?

        Between Mary and her husbands short exchange when he arrives home, it’s noted that he’s very short and curt with his responses to her, “yes” he said “I’m tired”; and a series of “no” to Mary’s questions. Their relationship is very one sided, as Mary always puts in effort to appease him, and seems to carry deep love and affection for him, “She loved to luxuriate in the presence of this may… She loved him for the male glow that came out of him… She loved the intent, far look in his eyes”. She’s very observant of him and his behavior, so when she finds he drank his whiskey faster than usual, going for a stronger second glass, she immediately tries to find out what’s wrong and what she can do to fix it. Mary Maloney is the perfect trophy wife, as she cooks, sews, cleans, and is seemingly beautiful “[she] had acquired a wonderful translucent quality, the mouth was soft, and the eyes, with their new placid look seemed larger and darker than before”, but with all these great qualities, she’s indefatigable and very obsessive with her husband and how he perfectly fits the role of a stereotypical masculine male. Their connection is dominated by Mrs. Maloney’s infatuation and love for him, while Patrick is very submissive towards his wife’s feelings, and needs space.

        I think Mary Maloney is very fanatical of her husband, to the extent of isolating him in her presence when he returns from his tiring job as a senior police officer. One the most important parts of a relationship is individualism and space for both partners to grow and give time to themselves. Unfortunately, Mary’s clinginess for protection, and self-identity she has for herself because of Patrick makes him feel suffocated and lost. Since she’s six months pregnant with his baby, it makes Patrick more frustrated day by day, and he suppresses all these emotions from Mary, “especially the way he remained silent about his tiredness”. This toxic cycle that Mary fails to see, strays Patrick further away from her. When he finally decides to break the news of his departure to Mary, he seems evidently relieved, “a little muscle moved near the corner of his left eye”. Which goes to show how he doesn’t reciprocate the same feelings for Mary, even with her bearing his child; he simply couldn’t bear her any more.  

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