The short story “The Lamb” is written by Andrea Carter and was published in 2019. The main topic of the story is shame and guilt and how you cope with it.
When do you stop feeling guilty for an accident that happened 36 years ago, and how do you ameliorate that feeling of guilt? Can you ever forgive yourself?
In the following essay I will go in depth with the construction of the story, the characters and interpret the meaning behind this short story.
- Analytical Essay on Andrea Carter’s short story “The Lamb”
The climax of the story takes place when the narrator admits that she was the one kissing Ruth and not the other way round (ll. 130-131).
She has always been in love with Ruth but was also in love with getting attention from the popular girls on her school. She felt ashamed that she kissed Ruth.
Now she is ashamed that she lied and turned her back on Ruth. Her admission shows that she is ready to take responsibility for her actions and past mistakes.
In the end of the story, we get to know that the narrator intends to confess to Ruth’s parents. Both for her love for Ruth, and the role she played in the tragedy.
Therefore, we can see it as the narrator deciding to acknowledge both her mistakes, as well as her identity, to overcome her feelings of guilt.
The story is told from the unnamed main character’s perspective as a first-person narrator. The narrator grew up in Ireland and now lives in Australia, working as a headmistress.
The narrator is in her late 30’s as she is in town for her 30-year school reunion. She went on the St. Mary’s Catholic school for girls (ll. 121-122)
The narrator has a grown-up son named Robert. It appears that he was given birth to as a one-night stand, so the narrator is possibly single. In the end of the story we also get to learn that the narrator is lesbian.