lamb to the slaughter pdf

Lamb to the Slaughter PDF: A Gripping Tale of Deception and Revenge


Some stories in the world of literature have the ability to enthral readers with their unexpected turns and dark humour. One of Roald Dahl’s short stories, “Lamb to the Slaughter,” is one of his masterpieces that has horrified and entertained readers for years. If you haven’t had a chance to read this exciting narrative, don’t worry—we’ve got you covered with a printable PDF that contains all the information you need.

Overview of “Lamb to the Slaughter”

A short story called “Lamb to the Slaughter” was first released in 1953. The narrative centres on Mary Maloney, an apparently routine housewife whose life takes an unexpected turn when her husband, Patrick Maloney, divulges a horrifying secret. Let’s just say that the plot takes a dark and unexpected turn that will make you wonder about the limits of human nature without giving anything else away.


Summary of “Lamb to the Slaughter”

Without giving away the vital details that make the story so compelling, we’ll give a brief overview of the story’s major events in this part.

In the beginning, Mary Maloney is shown as a loyal and caring woman who is looking forward to her husband Patrick’s arrival home from work. Patrick shows up, though, and drops a bombshell that rocks Mary’s world. This information triggers a series of occurrences that result in a startling and unexpected change of events.

You’ll see Mary change from a devoted wife to a crafty and resourceful person as the narrative progresses. She experiences a range of emotions that influence her judgements and behaviours, including shock, rage, and desperation. As Mary’s activities take a dramatic turn, the story’s finale is a time of unbridled suspense and dark humour.

Themes in “Lamb to the Slaughter”

Now that you have a basic understanding of the story’s plot, let’s delve into some of the prominent themes that “Lamb to the Slaughter” explores:

  1. The concept of deception is expertly explored in the narrative. It demonstrates how deceptive outward looks may be and how people can conceal their genuine motivations behind a front of normalcy. This concept is best illustrated by Mary’s shift from a devoted wife to a cunning criminal.
  2. Another major topic in the narrative is retribution. Following her husband’s unexpected admission, Mary is motivated by a desire for vengeance in her deeds. The plot poses concerns regarding the repercussions of exacting revenge and whether it actually provides satisfaction.
  3. Irony: Throughout the story, Dahl effectively uses irony. Particularly the dramatic irony gives the story richness and a melancholy humour. Because readers are aware of facts that the characters are not, the suspense and humour are increased.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who is the author of “Lamb to the Slaughter”?

Famous British novelist Roald Dahl, best known for his children’s stories like “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Matilda,” is the author of “Lamb to the Slaughter.”

2. Is “Lamb to the Slaughter” available for free in PDF format?

Yes, there are many literary websites, digital libraries, and educational platforms where you can download “Lamb to the Slaughter” for free in PDF format. A fast online search will quickly lead you there.

3. What is the significance of the story’s title, “Lamb to the Slaughter”?

The title is a deft play on words since at first glance it seems to refer to a real lamb being ready for the butcher. But as the narrative progresses, it becomes evident that the title refers to the protagonist, Mary Maloney, in a deeper, metaphorical way.

4. What makes “Lamb to the Slaughter” a standout short story?

The movie “Lamb to the Slaughter” is praised for its surprising plot turns, dark humour, and examination of difficult subjects like betrayal and retribution. This intriguing story showcases Roald Dahl’s mastery of storytelling.

5. Are there any film or TV adaptations of “Lamb to the Slaughter”?

Yes, over the years, “Lamb to the Slaughter” has been transformed into a number of films and TV episodes. The 1958 episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents is one notable adaption. It has also been included in collections and anthologies of Dahl’s writings.


The classic short story “Lamb to the Slaughter” never fails to enthral readers with its gripping plot and challenging issues. Whether you enjoy psychological suspense, dark humour, or just well-crafted narrative, this Roald Dahl classic is certain to make an impact. Download the PDF now to immerse yourself in Mary Maloney’s world and be ready to be mesmerised by this literary masterpiece.

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