Antagonist And Protagonist In “Lamb to the Slaughter”

June 7, 2022 by Essay Writer

“Lamb to the Slaughter” is a short story written by Ronald Dahl. it is about two people who love each other, but the love is one-sided. One day, the man wants to get a divorce from the woman while she is six months pregnant. She isn’t very happy, so she kills her husband. Every human has the right to leave a relationship they don’t feel comfortable in. Mary is married to Patrick in lamb to the Slaughter. He is not happy in the relationship that they are in with Mary. But Mary who is his wife and is six months pregnant is very happy in the relationship. Patrick is the protagonist in the story and Mary is the antagonist.

Everyone deserves to be happy and should not feel stuck in a bad relationship. Mary does not respect Patrick in the decision that he is making. Patrick is the protagonist because he isn’t doing anything to Mary that is going to physically harm her in any way, he isn’t committing a crime. In the story, he is telling Mary that he wants a divorce from her and he tells her in a very peaceful, calming way. While he is telling her she isn’t paying attention so that she wouldn’t have to worry about it being a big deal. “This is going to be a bit of a shock to you, I’m afraid, he said… of course, I’ll give you money and see you’re looked after, but there needn’t really be any fuss, I hope not anyway. It wouldn’t be good for my job”(12-13).

This is when he told her that he wanted a divorce from her and would give her money. Mary is the antagonist in the story because she kills Patrick after knowing about the news of the divorce. She was in shock and didn’t want to believe any of it so kills him with a leg of lamb. “At this point, Mary Maloney walked up behind him and without any pause, she swung the big frozen leg of lamb high in the air…as hard as she could on the back of his head. She might just as well have hit him with a steel club.”(13) She then started to think about her child because of the crime she commits. “On the other hand, what about the child? What were the laws about murderers with an unborn child? Did they kill them both- mother and child? Or did they wait until the tenth month? What did they do? (13) she is really worried about herself and her child after the murder she did, Mary commits a crime.

In conclusion, Mary is doing a very bad thing by killing her husband with a leg of lamb. So she is considered an antagonist. Patrick isn’t doing anything bad to Mary except telling her that he wants a divorce from her without a crime being involved and so he is the protagonist.

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