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Word Count: 764
Unlike Edgar Allen Poe it would seem uncharacteristic of Roald Dahl to create a totally inhumane cast in his murder fiction Lamb to the Slaughter In fact the reader is caught off guard with Mary Maloneys vulnerabilities as she is seen watching him all the time with those large bewildered eyes Dahl 23 and being six months with child Between Dalhs story and Poes The Black Cat the audience needs to step outside of the box while comparing both murders motives methods and outcomes to see that Mary has premeditated the murder of Patrick Maloney for some time The narrator in The Black Cat tells of his change from a life of good temperament and gentility to the form of consumption and its effect upon his spirits Through uncontrollable rage due to alcoholism and delusion Poes character arrogantly gives justification to his crime for his wifes insolent interference Dalhs characterization of Mary however leads the audience to see her as distraught with an obsession for her husband after being told that he is leaving her She had to suspect something was afoot beforehand as she was being so attentive upon his arrival Doesnt she seems to be trying a little too hard or smothering upon Patricks entrance Hers was more than just a crime of passion as she chose to execute her premeditation upon his confirmation that he wants to be with someone else Upon completing the deed her pre-staged lines are rehearsed for the grocer and her second performance was about to begin Murders have been conducted with many tools of the trade over time but a leg of lamb Food and the rituals that surround its preparation and the consumption have often played a role in crime fiction food and eating are used to indicate specific character traits Michelis 142
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