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Symbolism of "Lamb to the Slaughter"

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by

Samantha G

on 27 September 2013

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Transcript of Symbolism of "Lamb to the Slaughter"

Symbolism of "Lamb to the Slaughter"
Symbolism
- Something which stands for or represents something else

- A figure of speech where an object, person, or situation has another meaning other than its literal meaning

- The actions of a character, word, action, or event that has a deeper meaning in the context of the story.
What is a Lamb?!
- A lamb is a weak animal. It is a baby sheep

- Sheep follow in herds; lambs follow the older sheep

- Basically, the lamb is following the followers ( AKA the lamb symbolizes a follower/weakness)

What is Slaughter?!
- Slaughter involves the killing of sheep, cattle, and livestock for food purposes

- Also, used to describe a brutal murder

- The wife is taking the leg of lamb to the slaughter (as in murder) as the weapon
What's up with the Wife?!
-
The lamb is the biggest SYMBOL in the story

- The lamb in the story is the WIFE!!!

- She does EVERYTHING for her husband...waits for him to come home from work, makes him snacks/cooks dinner, knows his every move. She has NO identity in this marriage

- Her husband thanks her for her loyalty by asking for a DIVORCE and she has no say in it! Her life is being torn apart and all he cares about is not making a scene to affect his job and she STILL gets up to cook him dinner...SERIOUSLY?!?!

- She is being WEAK and a FOLLOWER!! And she is being slaughtered (her way of life has ended and she does nothing about it!)


But.....
-
But Mary fights back and kills her husband

- When killing occurs in a story, it usually shows someone overcoming some type of obstacle

- Here, the 'lamb' of a wife overcomes her butcher of a husband ( his job is in the police force...everything about him is controlling) by killing him. (BUTCHER/LAMB)

- When she kills her husband, she also kills her weakness. The lamb has been slaughtered and she is left a free woman

- The police arrive and eat the lamb. That is the slaughter- the destruction of the leg of lamb (The symbol of her weak status) for food purposes. Once the lamb is gone, so is all evidence that she was ever under her husband's power
In Conclusion...
- The symbol of the story is the leg of lamb which represented Mary Maloney's weak status.

- The weak status is slaughtered by Mary when she kills her husband with the leg of lamb

- The leg of lamb is eaten (which is why is was initially slaughtered) and all evidence of her weakness is destroyed.

- The slaughter of the leg of lamb (it being eaten) symbolizes her new found strength and independence)
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