The Result Of Betrayal In Lamb To The Slaughter By Roald Dahl

Betrayal is the act of disloyalty from a person to another, breaking their relation and replacing it with hatred. It can begin from jealousy, anger, or frustration which can lead to several consequences. In the short story 'Lamb to the Slaughter' written by Roald Dahl, both characters, Mary and Patrick Maloney, portray the theme of betrayal through their actions which lead to the broken of the relationship, the action of killing, and the change of Mary after the incident.

The first action that portrays the theme of betrayal is by describing the broken relationship of Mary and Patrick. In the story, Patrick tells Marry that “This is going to be a bit of a shock to you, I'm afraid…”. The author illustrates that Patrick is going to say something that is going to be really hurt to Mary, in a marriage, this is probably divorce or cheating. And this quote further developed the theme of betrayal by showing Patrick’s actions. At this point, Mary is robotic and disembodied, described by the author as unable to 'feel her feet touch the floor'. This quote expresses that the hurt brought by the cheating of Patrick on Mary and how much Mary love Patrick, which now becomes hatred towards Patrick. Furthermore, connecting to the story, the author demonstrates that Mary is shocked by the words of Patrick and couldn’t think and act as a normal calm pregnant wife. As a result, the action of betrayal can make a peaceful person to a figure, who will carry out a violent act.

The next action that Roald Dahl develops the theme of betrayal is when Mary murders Patrick to make reprisals of cheating. An example in the story is when Mary “walked up behind him” and “swung the big frozen” lamb leg “as hard as she could on the back of his head”. This perfectly demonstrated the bloody result of betrayal, the fate of Patrick is the perfect example of someone is being betrayed. Furthermore, the quote is the climax of the story, and this incident happened is the revenge of Mary. In the story, another example is after killing Patrick, Mary “stepped back a pace”, and after four or five second, Patrick “crashed onto the carpet”. This expresses that Mary is not regret for what she do, instead she feels like a normal person who is innocent. Patrick’s betrayal towards Mary is what caused her to lose control and being anger and lead him to die. As a result, Mary starts to tell everybody about the death of Patrick.

The last action that the author portrays the theme of betrayal is when Mary deceived to the people she talks to. This happened when Mary is about to go to the grocery store and buy something from Sam, the owner, she said “‘I want some potatoes, please, Sam. Yes, and perhaps a can of beans, too. Patrick's decided he's tired and he doesn't want to eat out tonight’”. This quote illustrates that Mary is trying to be like nothing happened to hide the truth that she killed Patrick. Furthermore, this also demonstrates that she is deceiving others in order to let nobody find out what she did. Another quote shows this is when Mary talked to the detectives and policemen, she asked them to “eat up that lamb that’s in the oven”. The author is demonstrating that Mary is letting the police to destroy the tool she used to kill Patrick, and destroy the evidence. This develop the theme of betrayal and the change of Mary furtherly, she is now only caring about herself and the unborn baby, not even a little about her husband Patrick. Therefore, Mary demonized the theme of betrayal and turned herself into a vicious person, deceiving everyone around her.

Ronald Dahl established the theme of betrayal by portraying Mary as a malicious woman with the experience of her marriage, murder and deception. First, when Patrick betrayed her, Mary felt angered and shocked. Next, Mary murdered Patrick bloody because he had betrayed her and the unborn child. At last, Mary changed from a peaceful wife to a vicious woman. As a result, the effects of betrayal can lead an innocent person down the path of murder and deception. Hence, betrayal is one of the most destructive relationships a person can experience in a relationship.

Betrayal was shown from both of them because she could not stand the idea of him living without her. Betrayal seems to be the main theme of this short story. Betrayal is an act of disloyalty from one person to another, breaking their bonds and replacing it with hatred. It can stem from jealousy, anger, or frustration which can lead to severe consequences.

10 October 2020
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