• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Both 'Lamb to the Slaughter' and 'The Speckled Band' share some of the characteristics of murder mysteries.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

THE SPECKLED BAND - SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE AND LAMB TO THE SLAUGHTER - ROALD DAHL Both 'Lamb to the Slaughter' and 'The Speckled Band' share 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. 'T he Speckled Band' was written in 1892 during Queen Victoria's reign over Britain. At the time the aristocratic society was paranoid about crime and rumours and myths about murderers such as 'Jack the Ripper' did not help. The squalid chaos of a city (London) that hadn't changed much since Tudor times, with it's dark narrow alleyways and badly lit streets created a haven for murderers, rapists, prostitutes and petty thieves. The arrival of a 'super sleuth' character was obviously going to appeal to the literary clique. Sherlock Holmes was the solution to all their problems although in reality the Police Force was failing badly. In contrast 'Lamb to the Slaughter' was written in a completely different era - post-war, Elizabethan Britain, a period where attitudes and the Police Force had developed considerably from Conan Doyle's Victorian London. The nation's feeling had changed and had become more tolerant of women and including them more in a previously male world. ...read more.

Middle

However in Lamb to the Slaughter women were allowed a much freer role and so the idea of them becoming murderers was 'accepted' by the readers. In both of the stories the villains (Dr Roylott and Mary Maloney) control the people around them, Dr Roylott controls people by threatening them with physical violence whereas Mary Maloney uses subtle emotional actions to convince the Police that she's innocent. Mary Maloney is the physical and emotional opposite of Dr Roylott, she is a pregnant wife to a high ranking Police Officer, and is a quiet, gentle pregnant doting housewife who is unselfish and thinks only of her husband. This fits in with the 'perfect housewife' image that was still the norm at that time. '...each minute gone by made it nearer the time when he would come...' and '...enjoying his company after the long hours...in the house...' The only reason she is pushed towards a psychotic episode is because of Patrick Maloney's (her husband) affair and plans to break up their marriage. We, the readers, have absolutely no idea at the beginning that she is the murderess to be, in fact we are lulled into a false sense of security by the quiet atmosphere of the house. ...read more.

Conclusion

In contrast Mary Maloney just uses conversation to manipulate the Policemen to seeing her version of the story without thinking about the other ways: 'Well...here you are, all good friends of dear Patrick's too, and helping to catch the man who killed him. You must be terribly hungry by now...and I know Patrick would never forgive me...if I allowed you to remain in this house without offering you decent hospitality.' The endings of the stories are very different, Sherlock Holmes solves the case and kills Dr Roylott thus closing the case forever. In contrast 'Lamb to the Slaughter' does not finish and leaves much for the reader's imagination to do, Mary Maloney is not even suspected of killing her husband and will never be brought to court as the Policemen have eaten the evidence. I think that 'The Speckled Band' is more compelling to read, although it is more difficult to follow and understand as the language is complex, the story is much better and as I like them, has an air of finality at the end. Many people will find 'Lamb to the Slaughter' more compelling to read as it has a comical side to it and as attitudes had changed, people would not be so surprised to see the author let the murderess get away with it. Peter Atkin 01/05/07 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Arthur Conan Doyle section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Arthur Conan Doyle essays

  1. How Is Tension Created In The Speckled Band?

    With the use of words such as 'blocked' and 'iron bars' support the theory that the house is like a prison, and with quotes like this building up the tension, coupled with some close encounters and twists in the tale such as these, "from a clump of bushes there darted what seems to be a hideous and distorted child".

  2. Compare and contrast 'The Speckled Band' and Lamb to the Slaughter'

    Holmes also keeps calm when Dr Grimsby Roylott comes to visit him. "I have heard a bout you before. You are Holmes the meddler'. My friend smiled. (Sherlock Holmes) 'Holmes the busy body.' His smile broadened. (Sherlock Holmes) 'Holmes the Scotland Yard Jack-in-office.'

  1. Coursework-The Speckled Band How does Conan Doyle present Dr. Grimesby Roylott as a typical ...

    For example it says, "living the life of an aristocratic pauper; but his only son..." this is right at the start and it puts a picture into your head of Roylotts father, quite often sons turn out like there fathers.

  2. Compare and contrast 'Lamb to the Slaughter' and 'The Speckled Band' as examples of ...

    It was a tale of transatlantic revenge killing. Doyle wrote a sequel in 1890, called 'The sign of the Four', and then went on to write a series of Holmes adventures in the 'Strand magazine' This was the first time a writer had used a pair of characters to link a series of stories.

  1. The Speckled Band and Lamb to the Slaughter comparison

    This doesn't make the introduction particularly compelling to read, and doesn't leave us wanting to read on. Usually, an author would want to write an introduction that would grip the reader, which would be done by making an important,

  2. A comparison of The Speckled band by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle & Lamb to ...

    Julia Stoners recent engagement is a threat to her life and that the murderer of Mr. Helen Stoner will kill her as she also like Helen is engaged, so the murder of Helen must be linked to her recent engagement, During the story Watson continues to narrate, later Sherlock Holmes

  1. Explain what you learn about the roles of women and the differences in lifestyles ...

    She says that she 'loves and is loved'. This shows that it is more important to her than money or social standing. Helen Stoner is quite different from Irene Adler. She is a very timid woman but this may be because she is very afraid and does not know what to do.

  2. Explain why Mrs. Maloney gets away with murder and Dr. Roylott doesn't

    They move from one place to another and are faced with suspicion and prejudice. In the 19th Century people didn't have good police service and they also didn't have quick thinking detectives. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle made up man named Sherlock Holmes.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work