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Discuss the presentation of gender and power explored in the short story, Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahl.

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Introduction

ENGLISH SHORT STORY ESSAY 'LAMB TO THE SLAUGHTER' The question I have selected for my essay is number one and I will be discussing the presentation of gender and power explored in the short story, Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahl. Also in my essay I will be explaining the roles played by the two main characters in the story Mary and Patrick Maloney. Mary Maloney is the main character in the story Lamb to the Slaughter. She is represented as a stereotypical housewife who adores her husband, Patrick Maloney, and is willing to go to any length to please him. At the start of the text Mary seems to be a weak woman and the weaker person in her marriage. ...read more.

Middle

And in this story the power seems to reverse from one character to the other, as it starts of with all the power in the hands of Patrick Maloney. Him being the Senior Police officer at work tells us that he must hold quite a lot of power of his work mates below him. But obviously the person he holds the most power over in the text is his wife, Mary Maloney; his hard working housewife who we find out is 6 months pregnant. She is constantly fussing over Patrick wether it is cooking his dinner or getting his slippers. Another thing we notice is that Mr. ...read more.

Conclusion

Mary also seems to have power over the policeman, detectives and doctors who came to investigate the death of Mr. Maloney. They seem very sympathetic towards her and believe every word Mrs. Maloney says about the death of her husband. After studying this short story it would be fair to say that Mr/Mrs Maloney do not have stereotypical or specific gender and power roles as they seem change their characters during the text. Mr. Maloney is explained by Mary at the start of the story as a loving husband and turned out to be ungrateful and unloving. And Mrs. Maloney starts off being a shy, warm, quite woman and ends up slaughtering her husband with a leg of lamb. To conclude my essay however, at different times in the text both characters hold more power then the other. (626 words) By lesner ...read more.

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