On 14th November, Sunday 2021 Books and Beyond Club, Kumaraguru college conducted an online book reading discussion session named ‘Tug of Words’. The session was conducted for a time duration of one hour between 5:30 – 6:30pm on the MS Teams platform which had a wide discussion on the short story ‘Lamb to the Slaughter’ by Roald Dahl. The main theme is concerned with the violence of devotion and fragility of identity. The story focuses on the murder of police detective Patrick Maloney by his wife Mary. Driven to homicide after her husband’s unexpected announcement that he’s leaving her and their unborn child, Mary quickly regains her senses after fatally killing him with the leg of lamb.
The event started with a brief summary of the story and later moved to an open discussion with the active participation of 10 students with various thoughts and opinions about the deeply engaging twists and surprising contrasts. It was indeed consuming to hear how one story had more perspectives on how we overlook the true nature of a person. On a whole, the event had a meaningful and worthwhile discussion. With a lot of questions and opinions about the concept of murder, we came to the conclusion that Patrick’s abandonment is not undermining Mary’s identity and in the wake of the murder, Mary had to reconstruct herself in order to protect her unborn child.
In conclusion, the story of the woman who murders her husband with a frozen leg of lamb and then has the murder weapon eaten by the detectives is one of the most famous examples of the ‘perfect crime’ story. Readers all agreed to the point that people can sometimes act unpredictably when they are betrayed by someone they love and it becomes toxic when one person takes the relationship more seriously than the other.