Elizabeth DeSchryver- Omissions and Repetitions: Roald Dahl's "Lamb to the Slaughter."

  • July 15, 2021
  • 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
  • Virtual Only

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Beth DeSchryver will lead a discussion of “Lamb to the Slaughter,” by Roald Dahl.  

No, this is not about facing a room full of editors.  

Most of us know Roald Dahl as a children’s writer---Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryJames and the Giant Peach---which demonstrate his somewhat twisted imagination.  But it was his short stories that established his reputation.  Dahl published “Lamb to the Slaughter” as part of his 1953 award-winning collection, Someone Like You. The story was made into an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, one of the few directed by Hitchcock himself.  

Says Beth:  “I first read this story in high school, and it has stuck with me ever since. This is not beautiful writing, or poetic, or interlaced with sophisticated metaphors. But it’s effective. I want to figure out why. Was I just an impressionable teenager?  What interests me are his choices---what he includes, but in particular what he chooses to exclude, thereby creating a surreal mood reflecting the state of mind of the main character. I want us to dive into those choices, analyze their impact as writers, and reflect on what that kind of control could do for our own work.  

Dahl’s work has been called macabre, controversial, racist, misogynistic, and other dark adjectives.  But it has definitely endured.  I thought we could pull up a chair, dig in, and find out why.”  

Beth DeSchryver is a long-time member of OCWW.  Her latest story, “Nameless Child,” is included in the OCWW Turning Points Anthology.

Accompanying your registration confirmation will be a pdf copy of the story and sample questions for you to read and prepare for the discussion. 

As the date for our session approaches, OCWW will send out reminders, possibly with additional information about the story. The Zoom information will arrive the day before the session.

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