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APPLICATION OF THEORY OF LITERARY CRITICISM FOUND IN THE SHORT STORY LAMB TO THE SLAUGHTER The theory that is relevant

for this short story Lamb to the Slaughter is feminist criticism or known as feminism. Feminist literary criticism is literary criticism informed by feminist theory or by the politics of feminism more broadly. Its history has been broad and varied, from classic works of nineteenth-century women authors such as George Eliot and Margaret Fuller to cutting-edge theoretical work in women's studies and gender studies by "third-wave" authors. In the most general and simple terms, feminist literary criticism before the 1970sin the first and second waves of feminismwas concerned with the politics of women's authorship and the representation of women's condition within literature (http://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Feminist_literary_criticism.html). Feminist critics sometimes also examine how the men are portrayed are male characters shown in a stereotypical way, or do they break out of the traditionally male label? The feminist school of thought examines the power relationships and struggles between men and women in literature and explores how male and female characters interact in their relationships. Feminist critics believe that the female personality must be judged by different measures than the male personality. In other words, a characteristic such as strength manifests itself differently in males than females. Mary Maloney plays the part of a sweet and innocent wife in the short story of Lamb to the Slaughter however she does not hold this role of the perfect little housewife for very long, for she murders her husband using the frozen leg of a lamb. In the large majority of short stories male characters are structured as domineering over the females who are shown to be submissive, though this does not ring entirely true when referring to the short story Lamb to the Slaughter. The stereotypical type portrayed in this story is generally not reflected in the men and women in todays society. Mary Maloney starts off as a perfect example of how females are portrayed as submissive in texts, however; something happens that makes her seem to snap. It could be the cause of all the pent up anger over the years shes been married and undermined as an individual due to her gender. In the world that she lived in, there was no way of allowing her to release her frustration, for it was not considered proper to do so and she would be beaten or shunted from society if she had done. So that is why Mary had enough and killed her husband.

Furthermore, in this short story, the male and female roles were portrayed clearly by the characters. Women have the low value to the society in the 19 century, especially before the World War 1 that they could be said as violated persons. This scenario happens when society has notion that man is the superior compare to the inferior female. As a result, women are marginalized, where they are not given opportunity to handle any important job in the government sector. Women are confined in the walls of kitchen and in core of taking good care of children. Men become bread earners. In other words, there are separations in womens and mens roles. The evidence can be seen when Mary Maloney was knitting in her parlor while waiting for her husband, Patrick Maloney, to get home from work. In this scene, which can identify that during that era, gender play great roles where it differentiates the job that the people will have, where women takes care of the house, while the men go out to work. Patrick, a gloomy and unfriendly police detective, returns home in a very bad mood. After drinking glasses of whiskey, Patrick tells Mary that he is leaving her. Roald Dahl portrayed the male character as a dominant character where they have all the power to do things, which is in contrast of the female character. But the feminism arouses as Dahl portrayed Mary Maloneys characters are far different than the beginning of the story. As in the story, Mary was a devoted housewife where she was seen knitting and concerned for her husbands hospitality. But in the end, she killed her husband with perfect crime, which by using a lamb leg. This shows how male and female characters interact in their relationships during that era. To trace back a history, in the late 1800's, a woman was still mostly mans property. Marriage guaranteed the man rights the woman's body which often meant pregnancies which could be fatal for the woman. Women were not allowed to be passionate about any area of study because it was considered detrimental to the family and it was also believed that if a woman became too educated, her uterus would become dysfunctional (Radek, 2008). Therefore, marriage is not a sharing of life where women and men may work together to overcome issues that may rise in a family. However, because of the notion that married women are totally the mens property, women have no value at all. They could be left as mens wish. Thus, Mary was left alone even though she is pregnant which

The short story was constructed in the theme of biology is also observable within the text. "The most visible difference between men and women, and the only one we know for sure to be permanent... is indeed the difference in body" (Showalter 315). The symbolic difference in body between Mary and the other characters in the story (all of whom are male) is apparent. Mary is six months pregnant on the evening in which she murders her husband. Because of this pregnancy, she is emotionally and physically fulfilled. "Her skin [has a] wonderful translucent quality," her mouth is soft, and her eyes are placid due to her expectation of having a child (Dahl 23). Her husband, in contrast to this, has intense eyes, a skittish demeanor, and a roughly shaped mouth (24). His dominance is exhibited cautiously within the text. She is responsible for making the drinks when he comes in. This behavior is expected of her by him as if she is his servant. She pours "a strongish one for him and a weak one for herself," symbolically representing the difference of strength in their characters (24). He is a senior on the police force and she is carrying her first child, which is an indicator that he is her superior in the matter of age in addition to sex. His constant tiredness makes her youthful exuberance seem annoying, possibly explaining why he treats his wife with an air of impatience prior to the murder. So, the short story Lamb to the Slaughter showed the ideas of women deal with emotions in making life decisions. In conclusion, feminism in literature is common whereas the writers showed their thought on women during their era. As for Lamb to the Slaughter, it showed in the story how women were practically been portrayed during that time. Eventually a sacrifice is needed for women to break free from the decadent patriarchal domain. This sacrifice is no less than the patriarch himself.