יום שבת, 28 בספטמבר 2013

Lamb to the Slaughter סיפור ספר כצאן לטבח / הצאן לטבח / שה לטבח סיפור עם שאלות תשובות בגרות אנגלית חמש יחידות G Analysis and Interpretation for "Lamb to the Slaughter" LAMBS TO THE SLAUGHTER WORKSHEETS

Lamb to the Slaughter סיפור ספר   כצאן לטבח / הצאן לטבח / שה לטבח
סיפור עם שאלות תשובות בגרות אנגלית חמש יחידות G
Analysis and Interpretation for "Lamb to the Slaughter"

Vocabulary אוצר מילים 

                                                                   By: Roald Dahl

Part I
THE ROOM WAS WARM and clean, the curtains drawn, the two table lamps alight - hers
and the one by the empty chair opposite. On the sideboard behind her, two tall glasses,
soda water, whisky. Fresh ice cubes in the Thermos bucket. Mary Maloney was waiting
for her husband to come home from work. Now and again she would glance up at the
clock, but without anxiety, merely to please herself with the thought that each minute
gone by made it nearer the time when he would come. There was a slow smiling air
about her, and about everything she did. The drop of the head as she bent over her
sewing was curiously tranquil. Her skin - for this was her sixth month with child - had
acquired a wonderful translucent quality, the mouth was soft, and the eyes, with their new
placid look, seemed larger, darker than before.
When the clock said ten minutes to five, she began to listen, and a few moments later,
punctually as always, she heard the tires on the gravel outside, and the car door
slamming, the footsteps passing the window, the key turning in the lock. She laid aside
her sewing, stood up, and went forward to kiss him as he came in.
'Hullo, darling,' she said, 'Hullo,' he answered.
She took his coat and hung it in the closet. Then she walked over and made the drinks, a
strongish one for him, a weak one for herself; and soon she was back again in her chair
with the sewing, and he in the other, opposite, holding the tall glass with both his hands,
rocking it so the ice cubes tinkled against the side.
For her, this was always a blissful time of day. She knew he didn't want to speak much
until the first drink was finished, and she, on her side, was content to sit quietly, enjoying
his company after the long hours alone in the house. She loved to luxuriate in the
presence of this man, and to feel - almost as a sunbather feels the sun - that warm male
glow that came out of him to her when they were alone together. She loved him for the
way he sat loosely in a chair, for the way he came in a door, or moved slowly across the
room with long strides. She loved the intent, far look in his eyes when they rested on her,
the funny shape of the mouth, and especially the way he remained silent about his
tiredness, sitting still with himself until the whisky had taken some of it away.
'Tired, darling?’. 'Yes,' he said. 'I'm tired.' And as he spoke, he did an unusual thing. He
lifted his glass and drained it in one swallow although there was still half of it, at least half
of it left. She wasn't really watching him but she knew what he had done because she
heard the ice cubes falling back against the bottom of the empty glass when he lowered
his arm. He paused a moment, leaning forward in the chair, then he got up and went
slowly over to fetch himself another.
‘I’ll get it!' she cried, jumping up, 'Sit down,' he said.
When he came back, she noticed that the new drink was dark amber with the quantity of
whisky in it.
'Darling, shall I get your slippers?’ 'No.' She watched him as he began to sip the dark
yellow drink, and she could see little oily swirls in the liquid because it was so strong.
'I think it's a shame,' she said, 'that when a policeman gets to be as senior as you, they
keep him walking about on his feet all day long.' He didn't answer, so she bent her head
again and went on with her sewing; but each time he lifted the drink to his lips, she heard
the ice cubes clinking against the side of the glass.
'Darling,' she said. 'Would you like me to get you some cheese? I haven't made any
supper because it's Thursday.'
'No,' he said.
'If you're too tired to eat out,' she went on, it's still not too late. There's plenty of meat and
stuff in the freezer, and you can have it right here and not even move out of the chair.'
Her eyes waited on him for an answer, a smile, a little nod, but he made no sign.
‘Anyway’ she went on, 'I'll get you some cheese and crackers first.' 'I don't want it,' he
She moved uneasily in her chair, the large eyes still watching his face. 'But you must
have supper. I can easily do it here. I'd like to do it. We can have lamb chops. Or pork.
Anything you want. Everything in the freezer.’ ‘Forget it,’ he said.
'But, darling, you must eat! I'll fix it anyway, and then you can have it or not, as you like.'
She stood up and placed her sewing on the table by the lamp.
'Sit down,' he said. 'Just for a minute, sit down.' It wasn't till then that she began to get
'Go on,' he said. 'Sit down.' She lowered herself back slowly into the chair, watching him
all the time with those large, bewildered eyes. He had finished the second drink and was
staring down into the glass, frowning.
'Listen,' he said, 'I've got something to tell you.' 'What is it, darling? What's the matter?’.
He had become absolutely motionless, and he kept his head down so that the light from
the lamp beside him fell across the upper part of his face, leaving the chin and mouth in
shadow. She noticed there was a little muscle moving near the corner of his left eye.
'This is going to be a bit of a shock to you, I'm afraid’, he said. 'But I've thought about it a
good deal and I've decided the only thing to do is tell you right away. I hope you won't
blame me too much.' And he told her. It didn't take long, four or five minutes at most, and
she sat very still through it all, watching him with a kind of dazed horror as he went further
and further away from her with each word.
'So there it is,' he added. ' And I know it's kind of a bad time to be telling you, but there
simply wasn't any other way. 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 very good for my
job.' Her first instinct was not to believe any of it, to reject it all. It occurred to her that
perhaps he hadn't even spoken, that she herself had imagined the whole thing. Maybe, if
she went about her business and acted as though she hadn't been listening, then later,
when she sort of woke up again, she might find none of it had ever happened.
'I'll get the supper,' she managed to whisper, and this time he didn't stop her.
When she walked across the room she couldn't feel her feet touching the floor. She
couldn't feel anything at all - except a slight nausea and a desire to vomit. Everything was
automatic now - down the stairs to the cellar, the light switch, the deep freeze, the hand
inside the cabinet taking hold of the first object it met. She lifted it out, and looked at it. It
was wrapped in paper, so she took off the paper and looked at it again, a leg of lamb.
All right then, they would have lamb for supper. She carried it upstairs, holding the thin
bone-end of it with both her hands, and as she went through the living-room, she saw
him standing over by the window with his back to her, and she stopped.
'For God's sake,' he said, hearing her, but not turning round; 'Don't make supper for me.
I'm going out.' At that point, Mary Maloney simply walked up behind him and without any
pause she swung the big frozen leg of lamb high in the air and brought it down as hard as
she could on the back of his head.
She might just as well have hit him with a steel club.
She stepped back a pace, waiting, and the funny thing was that he remained standing
there for at least four or five seconds, gently swaying. Then he crashed to the carpet.
The violence of the crash, the noise, the small table overturning, helped bring her out of
the shock. She came out slowly, feeling cold and surprised, and she stood for a while
blinking at the body, still holding the ridiculous piece of meat tight with both hands.


All right, she told herself. So I've killed him.
It was extraordinary, now, how clear her mind became all of a sudden. She began
thinking very fast. As the wife of a detective, she knew quite well what the penalty would
That was fine. It made no difference to her. In fact, it would be a relief. On the other hand,
what about the child? What were the laws about murderers with unborn children? Did
they kill them both - mother and child? Or did they wait until the tenth month? What did
they do?
Mary Maloney didn't know. And she certainly wasn't prepared to take a chance.
She carried the meat into the kitchen, placed it in a pan, turned the oven on high, and
shoved it inside. Then she washed her hands and ran upstairs to the bedroom. She sat
down before the mirror, tidied her face, touched up her lips and face. She tried a smile. It
came out rather peculiar. She tried again.
'Hullo Sam: she said brightly, aloud.
The voice sounded peculiar too.
'I want some potatoes please, Sam. Yes, and I think a can of peas.' That was better. Both
the smile and the voice were coming out better now. She rehearsed it several times
more. Then she ran downstairs, took her coat, went out the back door, down the garden,
into the street. It wasn't six o'clock yet and the lights were still on in the grocery shop.
‘Hullo Sam’ she said brightly, smiling at the man behind the counter.
'Why, good evening, Mrs Maloney. How're you?, 'I want some potatoes please, Sam.
Yes, and I think a can of peas.' The man turned and reached up behind him on the shelf
for the peas.
‘Patrick's decided he's tired and doesn't want to eat out tonight,' she told him. 'We usually
go out Thursdays, you know, and now he's caught me without any vegetables in the
house.' 'Then how about meat, Mrs Maloney?’ 'No, I've got meat, thanks. I got a nice leg
of lamb, from the freezer.' 'Oh.' I don't much like cooking it frozen, Sam, but I'm taking a
chance on it this time. You think it'll be all right?, 'Personally,' the grocer said, 'I don't
believe it makes any difference. You want these Idaho potatoes?' 'Oh yes, that'll be fine.
Two of those.' Anything else? ' The grocer cocked his head on one side, looking at her
pleasantly. 'How about afterwards? What you going to give him for afterwards?'
'Well, what would you suggest, Sam?' The man glanced around his shop. ‘How about a
nice big slice of cheesecake? I know he likes that.' 'Perfect,' she said. 'He loves it.' And
when it was all wrapped and she had paid, she put on her brightest smile and said,
‘Thank you, Sam. Good night.' 'Good night, Mrs Maloney. And thank you.' And now, she
told herself as she hurried back, all she was doing now, she was returning home to her
husband and he was waiting for his supper; and she must cook it good, and make it as
tasty as possible because the poor man was tired and if, when she entered the house,
she happened to find anything unusual, or tragic, or terrible, then naturally it would be a
shock and she'd become frantic with grief and horror.
Mind you, she wasn't expecting to find anything. She was just going home with the
vegetables. Mrs Patrick Maloney going home with the vegetables on Thursday evening
to cook supper for her husband.
That's the way, she told herself. Do everything right and natural. Keep things absolutely
natural and there'll be no need for any acting at all. Therefore, when she entered the
kitchen by the back door, she was humming a little tune to herself and smiling.


'Patrick!' she called. 'How are you, darling?' She put the parcel down on the table and
went through into the living-room; and when she saw him lying there on the floor with his
legs doubled up and one arm twisted back underneath his body, it really was rather a
shock. All the old love and longing for him welled up inside her, and she ran over to him,
knelt down beside him, and began to cry her heart out. It was easy. No acting was
A few minutes later she got up and went to the phone. She knew the number of the police
station, and when the man at the other end answered, she cried to him, 'Quick! Come
Patrick's dead!' 'Who's speaking?' 'Mrs Maloney. Mrs Patrick Maloney.' 'You mean
Patrick Maloney's dead?'. I think so,' she sobbed. 'He's lying on the floor and I think he's
dead.' 'Be right over,' the man said.
The car came very quickly, and when she opened the front door, two policemen walked
in. She knew them both - she knew nearly all the men at that precinct - and she fell right
into Jack Noonan's arms, weeping hysterically. He put her gently into a chair, then went
over to join the other one, who was called O'Malley, kneeling by the body, 'Is he dead?'
she cried.
'I'm afraid he is. What happened?' Briefly, she told her story about going out to the grocer
and coming back to find him on the floor. While she was talking, crying and talking,
Noonan discovered a small patch of congealed blood on the dead man's head. He
showed it to O'Malley who got up at once and hurried to the phone. Soon, other men
began to come into the house.
 First a doctor, then two detectives, one of whom she knew by name.
Later, a police photographer arrived and took pictures, and a man who knew about
fingerprints. There was a great deal of whispering and muttering beside the corpse, and
the detectives kept asking her a lot of questions. But they always treated her kindly. She
told her story again, this time right from the beginning, when Patrick had come in, and
she was sewing, and he was tired, so tired he hadn't wanted to go out for supper. She
told how she'd put the meat in the oven - 'it's there now, cooking' - and how she'd slipped
out to the grocer for vegetables, and come back to find him lying on the floor.
'Which grocer?' one of the detectives asked.
She told him, and he turned and whispered something to the other detective who
immediately went outside into the street.
In fifteen minutes he was back with a page of notes, and there was more whispering, and
through her sobbing she heard a few of the whispered phrases.'. . . acted quite normal. .
.very cheerful . . . wanted to give him a good supper . . . . peas . . . cheesecake . . .
impossible that she . . .' After a while, the photographer and the doctor departed and two
other men came in and took the corpse away on a stretcher. Then the fingerprint man
went away. The two detectives remained, and so did the two policemen. They were
exceptionally nice to her, and Jack Noonan asked if she wouldn't rather go somewhere
else, to her sister's house perhaps, or to his own wife who would take care of her and put
her up for the night. No, she said. She didn't feel she could move even a yard at the
moment. Would they mind awfully if she stayed just where she was until she felt better?
She didn't feel too good at the moment, she really didn't.
Then hadn't she better lie down on the bed? Jack Noonan asked.
No, she said, she'd like to stay right where she was, in this chair. A little later perhaps,
when she felt better, she would move.
So they left her there while they went about their business, searching the house.
Occasionally one of the detectives asked her another question. Sometimes Jack Noonan
spoke to her gently as he passed by. Her husband, he told her, had been killed by a blow
on the back of the head administered with a heavy blunt instrument, almost certainly a
large piece of metal. They were looking for the weapon. The murderer may have taken it
with him, but on the other hand he may've thrown it away or hidden it somewhere on the
'It's the old story,' he said, 'Get the weapon, and you've got the man.' Later, one of the
detectives came up and sat beside her. Did she know, he asked, of anything in the house
that could've been used as the weapon? Would she mind having a look around to see if
anything was missing - a very big spanner, for example, or a heavy metal vase.
They didn't have any heavy metal vases, she said.
'Or a big spanner?' She didn't think they had a big spanner, but there might be some
things like that in the garage.
The search went on. She knew that there were other policemen in the garden all around
the house. She could hear their footsteps on the gravel outside, and sometimes she saw
the flash of a torch through a chink in the curtains. It began to get late, nearly nine she
noticed by the clock on the mantel. The four men searching the rooms seemed to be
growing weary, a trifle exasperated.
'Jack,' she said, the next time Sergeant Noonan went by 'Would you mind giving me a
drink?' 'Sure I'll give you a drink. You mean this whisky?, 'Yes, please. But just a small
one. It might make me feel better.' He handed her the glass.
'Why don't you have one yourself,' she said. 'You must be awfully tired. Please do.
You've been very good to me,' 'Well,' he answered. 'It's not strictly allowed, but I might
take just a drop to keep me going.' One by one the others came in and were persuaded
to take a little sip of whisky. They stood around rather awkwardly with the drinks in their
hands, uncomfortable in her presence, trying to say consoling things to her. Sergeant
Noonan wandered into the kitchen, came out quickly and said, 'Look, Mrs Maloney, you
know that oven of yours is still on, and the meat still inside.' 'Oh dear me!' she cried. 'So it
is!' 'I better turn it off for you, hadn't I?’ 'Will you do that, Jack. Thank you so much.' When
the sergeant returned the second time, she looked at him with her large, dark, tearful
eyes. 'Jack Noonan,' she said.
'Yes?' 'Would you do me a small favour - you and these others?' 'We can try, Mrs
Maloney.' 'Well,' she said. 'Here you all are, and good friends of dear Patrick's too, and
helping to catch the man who killed him.
You must be terribly hungry by now because it's long past your supper time, and I know
Patrick would never forgive me, God bless his soul, if I allowed you to remain in his
house without offering you decent hospitality. Why don't you eat up that lamb that's in the
oven? It'll be cooked just right by now.' 'Wouldn't dream of it,' Sergeant Noonan said.
'Please,' she begged. 'Please eat it. Personally I couldn't touch a thing, certainly not
what's been in the house when he was here. But it's all right for you. It'd be a favour to
me if you'd eat it up. Then you can go on with your work again afterwards.' There was a
good deal of hesitating among the four policemen, but they were clearly hungry, and in
the end they were persuaded to go into the kitchen and help themselves. The woman
stayed where she was, listening to them through the open door, and she could hear
them speaking among themselves, their voices thick and sloppy because their mouths
were full of meat.
'Have some more, Charlie?' 'No. Better not finish it.' 'She wants us to finish it. She said
so. Be doing her a favour." 'Okay then. Give me some more.' 'That's the hell of a big club
the guy must've used to hit poor Patrick,' one of them was saying. 'The doc says his skull
was smashed all to pieces just like from a sledge-hammer,'
'That's why it ought to be easy to find.
'Exactly what I say.' 'Whoever done it, they're not going to be carrying a thing like that
around with them longer than they need.' One of them belched.
'Personally, I think it's right here on the premises.' 'Probably right under our very noses.
What you think, Jack?' And in the other room, Mary Maloney began to giggle.

What principles make a couple's relationship work?
A.      Complete each sentence with an appropriate word.
swallow // anxiety// notice//senior// presence// reject//opposite// luxuriate//

1.       Mary was looking forward to Patrick's arrival home, she loved his walk, the way he looked  at her, his silence; in short she loved his …………….  .
2.       When Patrick prepared himself a second drink, Mary …………….. its darker color; he poured a higher quantity of whiskey this time.
3.       She expected her husband to come home any minute and to sit down as usual, in the empty chair …………………….. hers.
4.       Though she heard the shocking news, Mary's first, instinctive reaction was not to believe a word of it, to simply ………………………… the whole thing.
5.       Though she often looked at the clock it was not out of ……………………, but because of the pleasant thought that her husband was supposed to step in any minute.
6.       When Mary complained that ……………. policemen shouldn't walk all day long, Patrick ignored her comment.
7.       Everything seemed normal that evening too, until she noticed he drank his whiskey in one …………………. .
8.       Sitting quietly, enjoying the company of her husband, drinking their whiskey together were some of the few things Mary loved to ………………… in every evening when Patrick returned from work..
Answer the questions.
1.       How does Mary feel about her husband? How do we know?
2.       How can you tell that something is disturbing Patrick?
3.       What can you tell about Mary's relationship with her husband from the dialogue between them before he delivers her the news?
4) What is Patrick's news?
5) What is the murder weapon?


March the following word(s) and expressions in column A to their synonyms in column B.
1.       gently swaying   _______
2.       came out slowly ______
3.       the penalty          ______
4.       peculiar                ______
5.       cocked his head  ______
6.       become frantic with grief and horror _______
7.       humming a little tune _______
8.       brightest smile  ______

a.       strange
b.      the most cheerful smile
c.       recovered slowly
d.      turned his head
e.      slightly moving back and forth
f.        the punishment
g.       become anxious
h.      singing a melody in a low voice
1.       What is Mary’s plan? What is the motivation for this plan?
2.        Why is it important to cover up what she had done?
3.       What is Mary doing upstairs, in the bedroom?
4.       Why is Mary talking so much and giving so much information?
5.       Why was she humming when she entered the kitchen?

Complete the summary of part III with one of the following words.
weapon//  kindly// blood//longing//hospitality// heart// acted//favor//sobbing//corpse//
When she came back from the grocer and found her husband lying dead on the floor, all her old love and 1…………………….. for him sprang out. She knelt down beside him and started to cry her 2……………………… out. Then 3……………………. loudly , she called the police station, and soon two policemen she knew came. After briefly telling them her story, Noonan, one of the men, discovered the small patch of congealed 4…………………… on Patrick's head. He asked for more professional help from the station to check the 5……………… . Mary was asked again a lot of questions, but she was always treated 6……………………… . Then a detective was sent to interrogate the grocer, but he came back reporting that Mary had 7……………… perfectly normal and stressing the impossibility of her committing the murder.
During all this time, while the policemen were looking for the 8………………. – a heavy blunt instrument probably, Mary sat in the same chair, refusing to move and claiming she wasn't feeling well.
Time passed and the night came when one of the policemen reminded her that her oven was still on. It was then that Mary asked the men to do her a small 9………………. and eat the supper she had prepared for her late husband. Patrick, her claimed, "would never forgive her if she allowed men to remain in his house without being offered decent 10…………………"
1.       Do the police seem to suspect that Mary might be a murderer? How can we tell?
2.       Other than the fact that she says she feels sick why else does Mary want to stay in the room with the police?
3.       Why do the police think the weapon should be "right under their noses"?
4.       Why do the police agree to Mary's request to eat?

Analysis and Interpretation for "Lamb to the Slaughter"

1) What point of view is “Lamb to the Slaughter” told from and why is this important? _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

2) Why does Mary insist the police eat the leg of lamb? Which HOTS did you choose to answer this question?

3) What influence does Mary’s pregnancy have on the story?

4) We are not told what Patrick exactly to Mary; why not?

5) What are the themes of the story?

6) What is the climax or turning point in the story?


7) What is the origin and the meaning of the title?
8) Who is the lamb? (innocent,pure,unaware of impending doom)


9)  What is the dramatic irony in the story?

10) Whom do you feel sympathy for, Mary or Patrick and explain why.

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