Class presentation Lamb to the Slaughter

Lamb to the Slaughter
LING 225 _ 181
• Suspense is the intense feeling that an audience
goes through while waiting for the outcome of
certain events.
• It basically leaves the reader holding their breath and
wanting more information. The amount of intensity in a
suspenseful moment is why it is hard to put a book down.
Without suspense, a reader would lose interest quickly in
any story because there is nothing that is making the
reader ask, “What’s going to happen next?” In writing,
there has to be a series of events that leads to a climax that
captivates the audience and makes them tense and anxious
to know what is going to happen.
• Irony is a figure of speech in which words are
used in such a way that their intended
meaning is different from the actual meaning
of the words. It may also be a situation that
may end up in quite a different way than what
is generally anticipated. In simple words, it is
a difference between the
appearance and the reality.
Verbal Irony
• Verbal Irony: Verbal irony is the use of
words to mean something different
from what a person actually says.
• The main feature of verbal irony that sets it apart from
the other different types of irony is that it is used by a
speaker intentionally. It occurs in a conversation where
a person aims to be understood as meaning something
different to what his or her words literally mean.
• Examples of verbal irony include:
• “Thanks for the ticket officer you just made my day!”
“I can’t wait to read the seven hundred page report.”
Situational Irony
• It involves a discrepancy between what is
expected to happen and what actually happens.
• Situational irony occurs when the exact opposite
of what is meant to happen, happens.
• An example would be when someone buys a gun to protect himself, but
the same gun is used by another individual to injure him. One would
expect that the gun would keep him safe, but it has actually caused him
• There is however a difference between situation irony and coincidence or
bad luck.
• When someone washes his car and it rains, that is just bad luck; nothing
led him or her to think that it would not rain. However, when a TV weather
presenter gets caught in an unexpected storm, it is ironic because he or
she is expected to know the exact weather changes.
Dramatic Irony
• It occurs when the audience is aware
of something that the characters in the
story are not aware of.
• An example of dramatic irony is in a movie where
a detective does not know that the criminal
responsible for the crimes in the city is his
partner. The audience however is already aware
of this fact and waits anxiously to know what will
happen once the character finds out what they
already know.
• Foreshadowing is a way of indicating or
hinting at what will come later.
Foreshadowing can be subtle, like storm clouds
on the horizon suggesting that danger is coming,
or more direct, such as Romeo and Juliet talking
about wanting to die rather than live without
each other. Sometimes authors use false clues to
mislead a reader. These are called "red herrings,"
and they often appear in mystery writing.
• Lamb to the Slaughter is an idiom meaning “
unaware of impending catastrophe”
• What can you infer or predict the story to be
about based on the title?
Stopping Point Two
• “She loved him for the way he sat loosely in a
chair, the way he came in a door, or moved
slowly across the room with long strides.”How does Mary feel about her husband?
• What is Mary’s motivation?
Stopping Point Three
• What does Mr. Maloney do for a living?
• “It wasn’t until then that she began to get
frightened.” What can you infer Mary is afraid
• “ Listen,” he said, “I’ve got something to tell
you.” Make a prediction, what do you believe
Mr. Maloney is going to tell his wife?
Stopping Point Four
• What do you believe Mr. Maloney told his
• Predict: How is Mrs. Maloney going to react to
the news?
Stopping Point 5
• What did Mrs. Maloney do to her husband?
• Where did her character change? What
caused her to act unlike her portrayal in the
beginning of the story?
• Prediction: What will Mary do now?
• Exposition
– The quiet home
– Mary sewing
• Narrative Hook
– Patrick leaving
• Rising Action
– Mary hitting
Patrick over the
head with a leg of
– Detective points out lamb
is cooking in oven.
Falling Action
– Detectives eating the
– Detectives eating the
– Mary giggling
Text: “Lamb to the Slaughter”
• Author: Roald Dahl
• Genre: short story
• Point of view:
third person limited
Title Connections:
“Lamb to the Slaughter”
• Discuss with your partner:
– What does it mean to be a
“like a lamb”?
– What does it mean to
slaughter someone or
Idiom Origin
• “Like a lamb to the slaughter”: means to do
something in an unconcerned manner unaware of the coming disaster
• This is a Biblical allusion:
– Jeremiah 11:19: “But I was like
a gentle lamb led to the slaughter”
– Comes from lambs being
used as sacrifices
Reading with a Focus
• Read paragraphs 1-24 aloud with a partner.
Switch off by paragraph.
• As you read, look for what kind of person
Mary Maloney is. Underline anything that
describes Mary’s character.
• Text-Based Question #1: (Resource 1.6)
– Based on paragraphs 1-24, describe Mary
Maloney’s character.
Describe Mary Maloney’s Character
• Discuss with your partner what kind of person Mary
Maloney is.
– Sentence Frames:
• Based on the story, Mary Maloney seems to be…
• Based on the story, Mary Maloney’s character can best
be described as…
• So far in the story, Mary Maloney appears to be…
• As a group, decide on 2-3 adjectives that best
describe Mary.
Describe Mary Maloney’s Character
• Placid: calm, peaceful
• Tranquil: calm, composed
• Luxuriate: “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.”
– Based on this sentence, discuss: what does “luxuriate”
Reading with a Focus
• Read Paragraphs 22-46.
• Text-Based Question #2:
– Why is Mary’s violent action so unexpected?
What evidence in the text makes her action
Sentence Frames
• Mary’s violence was unexpected because…
• I expected Mary to … Her action was
unexpected because…
• ambiguity: an element of uncertainty in a
text in which something can be
interpreted in a number of different ways.
• Discuss with a partner:
– How is the husband’s reason for breaking up
with Mary an example of ambiguity?
– Sentence frames:
• The husband’s reason for leaving is
ambiguous because…
• Do you think Mary will get away with
the murder?
• How will she get away with it?
Revisiting the Irony Tree Map (Resource
• Work with a partner to add to the chart at
least 5-6 examples of situational and dramatic
irony from the text. Write your quotes from
the story under the appropriate column on
the tree map.
Option 1: Flee Map – Tracing the
At pivotal moments of the story, authors carefully use
language to portray the emotions and the changing
emotions of the characters at these moments. Trace the
emotions of Mary and Patrick throughout the text and what
language the author uses to convey these emotions. Look at
not only actions but dialogue as well. With your partner,
create a flow chart that analyzes their emotions with
textual evidence from the story.
Flee Map (Resource 1.7)
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