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In "Lamb to the Slaughter," Roald Dahl effectively develops the protagonist, MaryMaloney both directly and indirectly.

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Introduction

*Character Sketch Essay Character Essay Characterization is a method an author chooses to develop his/her character, is a very important element in a story. In "Lamb to the Slaughter," Roald Dahl effectively develops the protagonist, Mary Maloney both directly and indirectly; however, the use of indirect characterization is more dominant because it reveals her actions and how she deals with her conflict, her words, and creating a dynamic character with her words and personality, such as her calmness and serenity, her self-consciousness and lastly her deceitfulness. In the beginning of the short story "Lamb to the slaughter," the main character Mary Maloney, portrays her calm and serene character trait in various different scenes. As a role throughout her daily life routine, Mary is a perfect and devoted house wife, "there was a slow smiling air about her, and about everything she did... was curiously tranquil." ...read more.

Middle

Mary Maloney simply walked up behind him and without any pause she swung the bid frozen leg of lamb high in the air and brought it down as hard as she could on the back of his head." (Dahl 13) The following quote proves that she was a self-conscious because even though she admired her husband very much she was self-conscious and killed him. After murdering her husband Mary Maloney knew all of a sudden exactly what to do, as part of her "alibi" Mary, made her way to the closest grocery store and was able to make a conversation with Sam, the owner. So later on he could tell the police that Mrs. Maloney was present during the murder. As soon as she arrived home she called the police. As part of Mrs. Maloney's "alibi," going to the shop and calling the police, which she clearly knew exactly what she was doing proves again that she was self-conscious, because all this she just did naturally , but wasn't comfortable with it. ...read more.

Conclusion

(Dahl 17) This final quote demonstrates Mary Maloney's deceitfulness, because Mary tricks the detectives into eating up their own evidence, so it will be impossible to accuse her of her husband's murder. When the officers consumed the lamb, the reader further realizes that Mary gets away easily by using deceitful lies and a concrete set of plausible words. In conclusion, Roald Dahl, developed the protagonist successfully in "Lamb to the slaughter," through a way that is important in this short story. Where direct quotation was the most dominant in the protagonist, Mary Maloney's actions, words, and how he develops her personality traits like her calm nature and serenity, self- consciousness, and deceitfulness in a well-developed manner. Overall Mary Maloney was indeed independent and not entirely subservient and able to make her own decisions based on her own thoughts. She was no more the loving and faithful wife as described at the beginning of the story. We were with Mary Maloney from the very start, and only at the end do we realize that we never really knew her at all. ...read more.

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