by Roald Dahl
We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
Joseph's Dreams from Genesis 37
Genesis 37 is an Old-Testament passage that contains the story of Joseph and his dreams. Joseph is an important figure in the Hebrew tradition. In this passage he is the favorite of his father Jacob, and dreams that he was chosen by God to rule over many people, including his brothers. His brothers sell him into slavery and he ends up in Egypt.Pair “Joseph’s Dreams from Genesis” with “Lamb to the Slaughter” and ask students to discuss the different reasons why people betray the ones they love.
- Sir Francis Bacon
In this passage, Bacon discusses the notion of revenge, why some seek it, and the consequences of this fixation.Pair “On Revenge” with “Lamb to the Slaughter” and ask students to compare the opinions of the two texts on revenge. Is there ever a situation in which revenge is the correct response to a betrayal? According to “On Revenge” how will Mary be effected by the revenge she enacted on her husband? Will she find peace?
The Frog and the Mouse
- 620-560 BCE
In the Aesop fable “The Frog and the Mouse,” a frog tricks a mouse and is punished for his dishonesty.Pair “The Frog and the Mouse” with “Lamb to the Slaughter” and ask student to discuss what these two stories teach readers about betrayal. How do people react to being betrayed?
Last Diary Entry of John Wilkes Booth
- John Wilkes Booth
In his final diary entry, John Wilkes Booth justifies his assassination of President Abraham Lincoln and wonders at his fate.Pair “Last Diary Entry of John Wilkes Booth” with “Lamb to the Slaughter” and ask students to compare Booth with Mary. In what ways did they feel betrayed? How did they appear to be effected by the crimes they committed?
- Roald Dahl
In “The Landlady,” Roald Dahl tells the story of a young man offered lodging by a landlady who has dark plans for him.Pair “Lamb to the Slaughter” with “The Landlady” and ask students to compare the styles, themes, and tone of these classic short stories.
- Zora Neale Hurston
In this short story, a man seeks revenge when he loses his wife to another. Written during the Harlem Renaissance, “Spunk” offers an exploration of African American culture and features the use of a distinctive southern dialect.Pair “Lamb to the Slaughter” with “Spunk” and ask students to discuss the justifications for revenge found in both texts. Why do Joe and Mary seek revenge? How do their feelings about their spouses affect their actions? Why do students think that the actions of either character are either justified or unjustified?
- William DeMille
In William DeMille’s short story “Ruthless,” a man sets a deadly trap for a suspected thief.Pair “Lamb to the Slaughter” with “Ruthless” and ask students to discuss how the characters pursue revenge in the two stories. Why does Mrs. Maloney kill her husband? How does this compare to the reason Judson attempts to kill the thief? Do students think Mrs. Maloney’s husband or the thief was deserving of revenge? What do the two stories teach readers about revenge?