Character Paragraph of Mary Maloney in "Lamb to The Slaughter"

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 503 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

Words: 503|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

Mary Maloney, the protagonist of Roald Dahl's short story "Lamb to the Slaughter," is a complex character who undergoes a significant transformation throughout the narrative. At the beginning of the story, she is depicted as a loving and doting wife, but her actions after discovering her husband's betrayal reveal her darker side. This essay will explore the various aspects of Mary Maloney's character, including her appearance, behavior, and motivations, and examine the implications of her actions on the overall story.

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First and foremost, Mary Maloney's physical appearance plays a crucial role in the story. Dahl describes her as a woman with a round face and large, placid eyes, giving her an innocent and harmless appearance. This initial portrayal of Mary is essential in setting up the surprise twist later in the story when she commits a shocking act of violence. By presenting her as a seemingly harmless character, Dahl effectively lulls the reader into a false sense of security, making the climax even more shocking and unexpected.

In addition to her appearance, Mary Maloney's behavior throughout the story is also worth examining. At the beginning, she is portrayed as a devoted wife, eagerly awaiting her husband's return and preparing a special dinner for him. This behavior reinforces the image of Mary as a loving and caring spouse, further emphasizing the shocking nature of her later actions. Her seemingly normal behavior before the incident adds to the suspense and makes the reader question what could have driven her to commit such a heinous act.

Moreover, the motivations behind Mary Maloney's actions are crucial to understanding her character. When she discovers her husband's betrayal, her initial reaction is one of shock and disbelief. However, as the story progresses, it becomes clear that Mary is not a passive victim. Instead, she takes control of the situation and devises a plan to cover up her crime. This transformation from a vulnerable, betrayed wife to a cunning and calculating murderer highlights Mary's resourcefulness and determination. It also raises questions about the nature of love and the lengths people are willing to go to protect their relationships.

The implications of Mary Maloney's character extend beyond her individual actions. Her transformation challenges societal expectations of women and their capacity for violence. In a patriarchal society, women are often portrayed as passive and submissive, but Mary defies these stereotypes. By showing her as a woman capable of committing a brutal act, Dahl challenges traditional gender roles and offers a critique of societal norms. Mary's actions force the reader to question their own assumptions about women and consider the complexity of human nature.

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In conclusion, Mary Maloney's character in "Lamb to the Slaughter" is multi-dimensional and thought-provoking. Through her appearance, behavior, and motivations, Dahl creates a character that surprises and challenges the reader. By examining the implications of her actions, we gain a deeper understanding of the story and its broader implications. Mary's character serves as a reminder that even the most seemingly ordinary individuals can harbor complex emotions and motivations, and that appearances can be deceiving.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Character Paragraph of Mary Maloney in “Lamb to the Slaughter”. (2024, Jun 13). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 17, 2024, from
“Character Paragraph of Mary Maloney in “Lamb to the Slaughter”.” GradesFixer, 13 Jun. 2024,
Character Paragraph of Mary Maloney in “Lamb to the Slaughter”. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 17 Jul. 2024].
Character Paragraph of Mary Maloney in “Lamb to the Slaughter” [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Jun 13 [cited 2024 Jul 17]. Available from:
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