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A comparison of two murder stories "The Speckled Band" A. Conan. Doyle "Lamb To The Slaughter" Roald Dahl

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Wider Reading Coursework A comparison of two murder stories "The Speckled Band" A. Conan. Doyle "Lamb To The Slaughter" Roald Dahl We've read two murder stories, and they are both quite different from each other because of the different times, that the stories were written in. But they do have a few similarities. The most obvious similarity is that they both involve murders. Then there are a few other little similarities, for example they both involve vulnerable females, Helen Stoner in 'The Speckled Band' and Mary Maloney in 'Lamb to the Slaughter'. Each story also has a detective/s, Sherlock Holmes in 'The Speckled Band' and the police officers in 'Lamb to the Slaughter'. They also both have unusual murder weapons used in them. Then there are the differences. A main one is that 'Lamb To The Slaughter' shows you things from Mary Maloney's point of view, so you know whom the murder is, and how they did it, as soon as the crime is committed. But in 'The Speckled Band' you know who the murder is, but the reader doesn't find out how the murder was done, until the end of the story. ...read more.


In 'Lamb To The Slaughter' there are police officers that are the detectives. There are quite a few of them and they search everywhere in the house, and only suspect Mary Maloney for a little while, but give up on here, after they learnt she went to the green grocers. So they don't seem very clever and don't look into details as much as Sherlock Holmes does, when looking at his cases. The murderers in each of the stories have very different personalities and look very different. Dr Roylott the murderer in 'The Speckled Band', is said to be a large, mean man: 'A huge man framed himself in the aperture. His costume was peculiar mixture of the professional and of agricultural, having a black top hat, a large frock-coat, and a pair of gaiters, with a hunting-crop swinging in his hand.' This is the kind of character in a story that you would expect to me the murderer, because they seem evil in their description. Then there is Mary Maloney who was a middle-aged woman, who lived in a normal house: 'Her skin - for this was his sixth month with child - had acquired a wonderful translucent quality, the mouth was soft, and the eyes, with their new placid look, seemed larger, and darker than before.' ...read more.


In the end of 'The Speckled Band' there isn't really a twist in the plot, because it is explained bit by bit during the story. But in 'Lamb To The Slaughter' there is a funny and unexpected twist at the end, in which the police/detectives eat the murder weapon. (Leg of lamb) Both the stories end in a different way. 'The Speckled Band' has a very final ending, where the mystery is concluded, Helen Stoner gets married, and everything is wrapped up. But in 'Lamb To The Slaughter' the story is left open with Mary Maloney not caught by the police yet. But it is left open so the reader can come up with their own conclusion and decide what they think will happen in the end. After looking closely at these two stories my favourite is 'Lamb To The Slaughter' by Roald Dahl. I like it because it is quite short and to the point, unlike 'The Speckled Band'. I also like the twist at the end of the story and I think the murder weapon is strange choice. If I had to recommend one to someone, I would definitely say 'Lamb To The Slaughter'. ...read more.

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