I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.

The Use Of Suspense And Plot In Lamb To The Slaughter, A Story By Roald Dahl

How can Mary escape murder? Roald Dal Dahl used a few literary elements for this story. Plot and suspense. Mary Maloney waits patiently for Patrick Maloney’s return to work. But Patrick returns home from work and something is not right. Patrick informs Mary that Patrick wants to divorce her. Mary is stunned and tells Patrick that he won’t be leaving. Patrick doesn’t change. Mary heads to the basement to get a leg for Patrick to cook. Mary finds Patrick as she walks back to her living area. She hits Patrick inadvertently and kills his head with the leg. She calls 911 and pretends to be the victim of another murder. Mary was busy cooking the leg lamb while the police searched for the murder weapon. Mary eventually gives the leg to the police by the end the day.

Roald Dahl used suspense as the first element of his short stories to succeed. When Mary murders Patrick with the leg from a lamb, suspense is evident. Readers will now wonder how Mary will get away and hide her murder weapon. It’s difficult to predict the outcome of this story. Roald Dahl employs suspense to keep his audience guessing and give them goosebumps. The plot helps keep the story exciting. Mary put her husband’s leg in the oven after he was killed. The leg of lamb had not been cooked when detectives arrived at Mary’s home. Mary had already killed Patrick and planned everything. After killing Patrick, Mary then confuses detectives by cooking the lamb for them to eat. The murder weapon is hidden right in front of the detectives’ eyes. Mary is now free to murder Patrick. She knows this. Mary has made many changes over the course of this story. Mary used to be quiet and unable to commit murder. Now she’s a woman capable of murdering and getting away with it.

This short story was made successful by Roald Dahl’s use of two literary elements. The first is suspense, which keeps the audience guessing. Roald Dahl also used a plot as a literary element. This is the plot that Roald Dahl uses to plan out the story that will interest readers.


  • emmetthouse

    Emmett House is a 29 yo school teacher and blogger who is passionate about education. He has a vast amount of experience in the field and is always eager to share his insights with others. Emmett is a dedicated teacher who truly cares about his students' success. He is also an expert on using technology in the classroom, and is always looking for new ways to engage his students.

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