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A Detailed Comparison of 'The Adventure of the Speckled Band' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and 'A Lamb to the Slaughter' by Roald Dahl.

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Introduction

A Detailed Comparison of 'The Adventure of the Speckled Band' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and 'A Lamb to the Slaughter' by Roald Dahl 'The Adventure of the Speckled Band' and 'A Lamb to the Slaughter' were written in different centuries and yet both share some characteristics of murder mysteries. In this essay, I intend to compare the motives for the murders; the crime and cover-ups/ alibis; the personalities of the murderers and their victims and look at how the authors create suspense in their stories. 'The Adventure of the Speckled Band' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle gives a detailed account of one of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson's most interesting cases. A young woman Miss Helen Stoner, comes to consult them about the death of her sister, Julia, two years previously, in very mysterious circumstances. Julia died alone and the coroner could not find the cause. Now Helen has begun to fear that she to is in danger and is alarmed at the violent behaviour of her step father, Dr. Grimesby Roylott. Holmes and Watson go to Stoke Moran and solve the mystery of Julia's death. 'A lamb to the Slaughter' by Roald Dahl tells the story of Mary Maloney and her tense relationship with her husband, Patrick. ...read more.

Middle

As you can see the two different weapons use have things in common such as they are both animals and would not be suspected by the police. These weapons are very strange and unusual because when we listen to the news, when someone gets murdered nine out of ten times the murder weapon is a knife of some sort and a gun. The personalities of the murderers, although different, are very similar in some ways. Dr. Grimesby Roylott seems very evil and mad and he looked like 'a fierce old bird of pray' but he is a very clever man. He trained a deadly snake with a whistle and used a saucer of milk as its reward, to climb down the bell rope and attack the person that lay on the bed. We could tell that he was a bad tempered man, because it says so in the text, when Holmes sees the vivid bruises on Helens wrist. Helen stoner also tells Sherlock Holmes that he beat his Indian butler to death because he suspected him of theft. Roylott had planned his moves carefully and succeeded once. As the readers we see him as someone when they want something they would do anything to get it. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is because in 'The Adventure of the Speckled Band', Helen is an innocent victim and Roylott wants her money which her mother left in her will (basically for greed and selfishness) but in 'A Lamb to the Slaughter', the victim, Patrick, was murdered by chance not design. The only reason Mary Maloney murdered him is because of anger and shock. The two authors create suspense in different ways; Arthur Conan Doyle builds up the tension gradually by using powerful adjectives such as; strange, fear, terror. Whereas Roald Dahl builds up suspense and tension when Mary Maloney, a pregnant woman who is peaceful and loves her husband, murders him with a frozen leg of lamb by bringing it down on his head. Also the alibi that was included raises tension as well because the reader doesn't know if the police will fall for it. Some things I liked about 'The Adventure of the Speckled Band' was that there was a lot of tension and strange things involved, such as the unique murder weapon and the investigation which I thought was very interesting. What I liked about 'A Lamb to the Slaughter' is how she got rid of the evidence. She got the police to eat it. Not only that but the alibi she used to get away with the crime was very clever. 20/01/2003 Kassum Hussain 11YB English G.C.S.E. Coursework ...read more.

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