Tianesha Furlow Marriage is the union of a man and a woman who make a permanent and exclusive commitment to each other. During the ceremony of the marriage the couple takes vows in which are promises each partner is supposed to keep. It’s a sacred matrimony which is taken very serious; in every vow it ends with “Til death do us part”. Unfortunately, in some marriages the vows aren’t taken that sacred. In the two short stories, ‘The Alchemist’s Secret”, and “Lamb to the Slaughter”, their protagonists took their vows of “til death do us part” very personal; was willing to do anything to keep their vows.

In short story, Lamb to the Slaughter, an old devoted wife, Mary Maloney, waited for her husband, Patrick Maloney, to return home from work as a police officer. He arrives home around the usual time he comes home every night. This night Mary notices that Patrick seems to be out of it and is acting weird, but she just assumes he’s tired from work. Finally, Patrick exposes his reason for acting so strange. He never states exactly, but it is inferred that he is leaving her for another woman.

Mary, still in shock goes to the freezer to get a leg of lamb to cook for dinner. She continues to go in as if her husband didn’t just reveal to her that he is leaving. Patrick screams to Mary not to make dinner and she snaps. She hit him in the back of his head with the frozen lamb. Mary intentionally kills her husband. She feels as though if she can’t have her husband then no one can. In addition, in the short story, The Alchemist’s Secret, a bitter married man comes into a gas lit herb shop where he thinks it’s going to be a solution to all of his problems.

He hears of the famous Doctor Maximus who could make him no longer married to his cheating wife. In the herb shop Doctor puts some type of chemicals in whatever is desired of the customer to kill someone instantly with no discovery of the death in the autopsy. He wants his wife dead before he sees her fall in love with another man. He states with his face looking tight and dangerous, “I am not a man to be made a fool of”. The visitor of the herb shop feels like his wife is making a fool of him and she deserves severe punishment.

The two stories had many similarities and differences. One of the major similarities in the stories was how Mary Maloney and the anonymous visitor both took the same actions after finding out of the infidelity in their marriage. The differences in the story were the character’s outlook on the death of their spouse. For example, in The Alchemist, during the talk with the Doctor, the visitor says, “No thank you”, but says it nervously. The nervousness in his voice proved he had some fear and guilt of what he had planned on doing to his wife.

In addition, in Lamb to the Slaughter, after Mary Maloney killed her husband, Patrick Maloney and creating a lie to the detectives, she sits, “{in the other room and began to giggle}”. Mary Maloney giggling after killing her own husband reveals she has no regrets. In conclusion, the two short stories have similar concepts, but have different style of writing. Both couples had infidelity in their marriage and wanted revenge for their vows being broken.