Quickwrite • What are the expectations of a modern wife?
Excerpt from a 1950s Home Economics Textbook Compiled by Ms. Leslie Blankship Columbus, Ohio • Have dinner ready: Plan ahead even the night before to have a delicious meal on time. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospects of a good meal are part of the warm welcome needed.
Prepare yourself: Take 15 minutes to rest so you will be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. He has just been with a lot of work-wary people. Be a little gay and a little more interesting. His boring day may need a lift.
Minimize all noise: At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of washer, dryer, dishwasher, or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quite. Be happy to see him. Greet him with a warm smile and be glad to see him. • Some don'ts: Don't greet him with problems or complaints. Don't complain if he's late for dinner. Count this as minor compared with what he might have gone through that day.
Make him comfortable: Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or suggest he lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soft soothing and pleasant voice. Allow him to relax-unwind.
Listen to him: You may have a dozen things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first. • Make the evening his: Never complain if he does not take you out to dinner or to other places of entertainment. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure, his need to be home and relax.
The goal: Try to make your home a place of peace and order where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit. Source: http://www.coax.net/people/lwf/TEXTBOOK.HTM
Now it’s time to read… Thoughts on the title and connections to the information presented?
Setting • Mary’s house • Domestic setting/ middle class
Symbols Leg of lamb- violence, Lamb is a gentle animal usually slaughtered for various reasons
BETRAYAL Patrick Maloney’s decision to leave pregnant wife Violation of marriage vow Mary’s killing of her husband is perhaps the ultimate betrayal. Mary’s plan and alibi to deceive the decectives
IDENTITY Mary: middle class housewife Mary’s sudden murderous action shatters the image that we have of her and that she seems to have of herself. “identity” can be fragile.
IDENTITY Dahl appears to suggest that, in essence, human beings are: fundamentally nasty and brutish creatures capable of bloody acts.
IDENTITY Police detectives who pride themselves on their ability to solve a crime Mary sweetly tricks into consuming the main exhibit. Their identity, or at least their competency, is thrown into doubt.
LOVE AND PASSION At the beginning of “Lamb to the Slaughter,” Mary Maloney feels love and physical passion for her husband Patrick. She luxuriates in his presence, in the “warm male glow that came out of him to her,” and adores the way he sits, walks, and behaves.
LOVE AND PASSION (OR lack of…) Patrick is presumably motivated to leave his wife by an overriding passion for something or someone else. His wish that she not make a “fuss” about their separation because “It wouldn’t be very good for my job” indicate that it may be professional success that he desires. His treatment of his wife does not suggest that he loves her but something else.
JUSTICE AND INJUSTICE The question of justice and injustice is directly related to the question of revenge. “Lamb to the Slaughter” narrates a train of injustices: Patrick’s betrayal of Mary and their marriage Mary’s killing of Patrick Mary’s deception of the investigating officers. Is Mary justified in her actions?
“Lamb to the Slaughter” ambiguity A quality that allows readers to interpret a story or other work in more than one way.
“Lamb to the Slaughter” Academic vocabulary ambiguous
“Lamb to the Slaughter” Academic vocabulary mood
“Lamb to the Slaughter” Academic vocabulary tone
“Lamb to the Slaughter” Academic vocabulary plot
“Lamb to the Slaughter” irony