lamb packet

Period ________
Irony – “Lamb to the Slaughter”
Isn’t It Ironic???
The following are the lyrics to Alanis Morissette’s song “Ironic.” Look up the definition of Ironic in
your journal and determine which things in the song are really ironic and which just stink.
An old man turned ninety-eight
He won the lottery and died the next day
It’s a black fly in your Chardonnay
It’s a death row pardon two minutes too late
Isn’t it Ironic … don’t you think
It’s like rain on your wedding day
It’s a free ride when you’ve already paid
It’s the good advice that you just didn’t take
Who would’ve thought … it figures
Mr. Play It Safe was afraid to fly
He packed his suitcase and kissed his kids good-bye
He waited his whole life to take that flight
And as the plane crashed down he though
“Well, isn’t this nice…”
And isn’t it ironic … don’t you think
Well life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
When you think everything’s okay and everything’s going right
And life has a funny way of helping you out when
You think everything’s gone wrong and everything blows up
In your face
A traffic jam when you’re already late
A no-smoking sign on your cigarette break
It’s like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife
It’s meeting the man of my dreams
And then meeting his beautiful wife
And isn’t it ironic … don’t you think
A little too ironic … and yeah I really do think …
Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
Life has a funny, funny way of helping you out
Helping you out
“Lamb to the Slaughter” Worksheets
“Lamb to the Slaughter:” means in an unconcerned manner - unaware of the
impending catastrophe.
What sort of story does the title lead us to expect?
What does the third paragraph of the story suggest about Mary Maloney’s relationship with her husband?
3. What sort of household do we imagine the Maloney home to be? How does Dahl evoke a homely
atmosphere and why is the sense of domestic peace recalled at the end of the tale?
4. Before the husband breaks the news, what three clues are there that this particular evening is going to be a
break with routine?
What does Mr. Maloney announce? What reaction would you expect from Mrs. Maloney?
Do you think the murder was "premeditated" or a "crime of passion"?
7. Are Mrs. Maloney’s reactions and actions after the murder believable? How are we first informed that she
is planning to establish an alibi, and what is that alibi to be?
8. Is it reasonable that the policemen should be fooled by what she says (remember she is a policeman’s wife)
or do you find the whole thing rather unlikely?
9. Do you find Mary Maloney to be very cunning?
10. Why does the writer concentrate on such detail as "their voices thick and sloppy because their mouths were
full of meat"?
11. Do you think Mary Maloney is a "normal" person? Did she react in a normal way? Why or why not?
12. Dramatic irony is when the author knows something that characters in the story do not. How does the story
end with dramatic irony?
13. Verbal irony is when a speaker says one thing but means another, or when a literal meaning is contrary to
its intended effect. Give an example of verbal irony used in the story.
14. Situational irony occurs when the outcome is significantly different from what was expected or considered
appropriate. Give an example of situational irony from the story.
Plot and Conflict
What types of things make up the exposition of “Lamb to the Slaughter?”
What was the inciting force of “Lamb to the Slaughter?”
What were the main conflicts of the story? What type of conflicts were they?
What types of events make up the rising action of “Lamb to the Slaughter?”
What is the crisis of the story? The climax?
What was the falling action of the story?
What was the resolution/denouement?
Describe the following characters in detail:
Mary Maloney
Patrick Maloney
Sergeant Noonan
Police officers
Who was the protagonist?
The antagonist?
Give an example of each type of irony in the story:
What point of view was the story told from? How do you know?
Was there any foreshadowing? What?
What was the mood of the story?
What was the theme of the story?
Were there any sections that had vivid imagery? Which ones?