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A Comparison Between 'The Speckled Band' and 'Lamb to the Slaughter'

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Introduction

A Comparison Between 'The Speckled Band' and 'Lamb to the Slaughter' 'The Speckled Band' was written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1892 and 'Lamb to the Slaughter' was written by Roald Dahl in 1954. 'The Speckled Band' is about a woman who goes to see the famous, Sherlock Holmes, because she is afraid of her step-father and believes he has something to do with her sisters death. They investigate and find out Dr. Roylott is a murderer trying to kill her. Eventually he is found dead with the murder weapon, a snake! 'Lamb to the Slaughter' is about a couple and the man admits he is leaving his partner, she becomes confused and scared so hits him over the head with a leg of lamb, and he dies. Police investigate and search her house for clues, and she feeds the police the leg of lamb. A typical murder mystery consists of the suspects, victims and weapons. Usually the murderer is found out at the end so the reader keeps reading to find out who it was. The author writes it in a way in which the reader feels suspense or excited. The main task for the author is to try and make the story interesting enough so the reader wants to read more. ...read more.

Middle

This increases the pace and makes it more exciting. Conan Doyle uses a combination of monosyllabic words at this point which also has the effect of increasing the pace at which the story is read. The syntax at the start of 'Lamb to the Slaughter' is similar to the start of 'The Speckled Band' 'Lamb to the Slaughter' creates a calm, relaxing mood towards the reader, but 'The Speckled Band' creates a tense, serious mood. In 'Lamb to the Slaughter' words like "Luxuriate...Wonderful...Loved" are used to create a kind and loveable atmosphere. In 'The Speckled Band' words like "Tragic...Strange...Death" are used to make a serious and unsettled atmosphere. The way in which the author describes the characters is very important so that the reader interprets them effectively. Conan Doyle describes Holmes and Watson to be very polite and formal. This shows how they take their work very seriously. As Holmes talks to Watson he says "I presume that it is something very pressing, which they have to communicate." This not just shows that they take their work seriously but also shows how they respect each other. From the way Holmes is described it is clear that he is a very good detective. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also by murdering him she achieved independence. Where as before she relied on her husband for living but now needs to lead her own life. The stories are very different and have a very different way of keeping the reader interested. Whilst 'The Speckled Band' is typical of a murder mystery with a good detective and strong, confident murderer, 'Lamb to the Slaughter' on the other hand has a totally unexpected murder that is revealed at the begging. She does not get caught and the police are not very wise. The characters, scene and means of murder are different in both stories. In 'The Speckled Band' the murderer is purposely short tempered, unpleasant and impolite. On the other hand in 'Lamb to the Slaughter' the murderer is pleasant, polite and very kind. This also applies for the scene, in 'The Speckled Band' it creates an image to be dark, misty and spooky. Whilst in 'Lamb to the Slaughter' it is a bright, warm sunny day. The most unusual things about the two stories are the murder weapons. Usually you would expect a gun, knife or rope. But in 'The Speckled Band' it is a snake and in 'Lamb to the Slaughter' it is a frozen leg of lamb. This is what makes both stories interesting to read. ...read more.

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