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Both “Lamb to the Slaughter” and “The Speckled Band” shares some of the characteristics of murder mysteries. Explain the similarities and differences between the two stories and say which story you think is more compelling to read.

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Both "Lamb to the Slaughter" and "The Speckled Band" shares some of the characteristics of murder mysteries. Explain the similarities and differences between the two stories and say which story you think is more compelling to read. Roald Dahl wrote the story "Lamb to the Slaughter" in 1995. He was born on the 13th September 1916 in Llandolf, South Wales and sadly died in 1991. Some of the other many novels he wrote are the 'BFG' and 'Willy Wonka'. "The Speckled Band" was written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who was born 22nd May 1859 in Edinburgh, Scotland and also sadly died on the 8th July 1930. He wrote many stories on the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and amateur detective. Dr Joseph Bell inspired the idea of the character. In the story of "Lamb to the Slaughter" the mood is warm, friendly and tranquil. We can tell this when the room is described as being "warm and clean". The "two tall glasses" and the "whiskey" create a homely or domestic mood. A bright, cosy and in a way safe atmosphere is created. When the writer describes the main character as being "without anxiety" and to have a "slow smiling air about her" this adds a calm and quiet feeling to the story. When the word "placid" is used the character gives off the idea of peacefulness and contentment while waiting for her husband to return home from work. The beginning of the story is described as a "blissful time of day". The atmosphere creates a false sense of security and a murder is not expected, where as a love story is. The tale seems very ordinary. The story is different from traditional detective stories as you find out who the murderer is in the beginning story. However, at the start of "The Speckled Band" the mood is very extra ordinary. We can tell this when the writer uses the word "singular features". ...read more.


He is very precise and listens to each detail, "pray be precise to detail". He isn't happy with the vague. His mind works quickly and thoroughly unlike Jack Noonan. He then notices the bruises on Helens wrist and realise it is her stepfather "you are screening your stepfather". He is very calm and quick in his actions. Holmes remains calm even when Roylott is shouting and threatening him, he doesn't react. Holmes just smiles and stays cool even when provoked. He also wastes no time we can tell this when he goes and finds the will as soon as Helen leaves. In contrast Jack Noonan is the exact opposite he is inefficient and sloppy. He doesn't to take his job a seriously as Holmes. When they are sent to investigate the murder he seems very willing to accept her story straight away. He also lets Mrs Maloney remain with them throughout the investigation even though she should have been one of the main suspects. When she tells them her story they do check her alibi but only because it is procedure and they have to not because they want to. He then doesn't delve any deeper and seems to forget about Mary being a suspect, even though it is very important in a case to suspect everyone. Noonan finds it "impossible" that Mary to have committed the murder because of her femininity and the fact that she is a woman. All the way through the investigation the prime suspect Mary is unsuspected and treated kindly. Noonan seems very unprofessional. The writer Ronald Dahl seems to insist on making Noonan and the police force look thick and sloppy. It seems as if Roald Dahl has no respect for the police force. Noonan offers to let Mrs Maloney stay with his wife or her sister, which in a way would let her be able to escape if she wanted to. ...read more.


Mary is clever but speaks unsophisticated "hullo". In "The Speckled Band" at the end the mystery is solved as if there is a resolution and everything gets worked out. However in "Lamb to the Slaughter" we are still left wondering will she get caught in the future and what will happen even though we are relieved that she doesn't get caught. There is a twist in the tale in both stories but in "The Speckled Band" the murder weapon kills the murderer and in "Lamb to the Slaughter" the murder weapon is eaten. We do not realise why the writer chose the title "The Speckled Band" till right at the end when we realise it is an Indian snake used to kill the daughters. "Lamb to the Slaughter" tell us the story might be about a person who isn't aware of their fate. It has more than one meaning, as we understand when we read the story. The title also makes you wonder is there going to be blood or even death in the story. Holmes final quote tells us how he feels Roylotts death is his fault but he feels no guilt, where as Mary's is her giggling at the police eating the murder weapon. The murder in "The Speckled Band" seems to be a lot more serious where as in "Lamb to the Slaughter it is humorous as if to provide entertainment. The attitudes to murder have changed over time and this can be seen when both stories are compared. I preferred reading "The Speckled Band" as it was a lot more mysterious because you didn't know whom the murderer was and the story seemed more realistic compared to "Lamb to the Slaughter". Where as I did enjoy the fact that it was a woman who was the murderer is "Lamb to the Slaughter" as they were seen as the weaker sex. Murder stories have changed a lot over the years as murder isn't as rare any more and is sometimes seen in humorous ways. ?? ?? ?? ?? Jade Wigley 10B Mrs Fairhurst ...read more.

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