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'Both Lamb to the slaughter and the Speckled Band share some of the qualities found in murder mysteries. What are the similarities and differences between the two?'

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'Both Lamb to the slaughter and the Speckled Band share some of the qualities found in murder mysteries. What are the similarities and differences between the two?' T he 'Lamb to the slaughter' and the 'Speckled Band' are both in the same category of genre, which is this case is a murder mystery. Although both are in the same type of genre there are many differences and similarities between the two stories. The main differences and similarities will be looked at closer in this essay and these include, comparing the characters from each story, the settings, how the writer makes us want to read on by building up tension and drama, and how the writer ends the story. The 'Speckled Band' was written in 1892 (19th century) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, his stories are about the famous detective Sherlock Holmes. I knew before reading this story that Sherlock Holmes was a famous detective that would solve mysteries along with his fellow college Doctor Watson and Scotland Yard. 'The Lamb to the Slaughter', however is a more modern story being written in the 20th century by famous writer Roald Dahl. He is renowned for writing children's stories, like 'Charlie and the chocolate factory', 'Marvellous Medicine' and 'James and the Giant Peach'. ...read more.


Holmes the classis detective is assisted by fellow detective Dr. Watson. Holmes has a clear and sharp ability to solve even the most complex mysteries a gift which Dr. Watson admires. Holmes takes every chance to show off his abilities explaining in detail along the way what he thinks has happened. This form of detective is presented as an observant and intelligent detective that you would expect in a typical murder mystery genre. In 'The Lamb to the Slaughter' the detectives could be described as unobservant unintelligent and uncommitted, whereas Holmes the detective in the 'Speckled Band' could be described as being intelligent observant and committed, in fact he is the exact opposite to the detectives in 'The Lamb to the Slaughter'. The detective in 'The Lamb to the Slaughter' known as Jack Noonan is persuaded by Mrs. Maloney to drink some whiskey while on duty, this shows that he is a weak character. Little did he know this was the first part of Mary Maloney's cover-up. The whiskey makes him less observant since it is strong enough to dull the mind and the senses of the detective. He believes the murderer of Mr. Maloney to be a man, as the object used was large blunt and heavy and thinks a woman would be incapable of lifting such a murder weapon. ...read more.


'Here have some more Charlie?' 'No. Better not finish it' 'She wants us to finish it. She said so. Be doing her a favour' 'Okay then give me some more personally, I think (the weapons) right here on the premises' 'Probably right under our noses. What do you think Jack?' And in the other room, Mary Maloney begins to giggle I think this is an effective ending because the murder weapon will never be found as it has just been eaten by the very people that spent 6 whole hours looking for it. I also think the 'The Lamb to the Slaughter' is better because Dahl has written this story on purpose to go against the traditional detective story, making the setting, plot and characters untypical. As well as that I particularly like the way in which Dahls characters develop as the story goes on. Mary Maloney goes from loving housewife and potential victim to possible psychopathic murderer. Patrick Maloney develops from potential psychopathic murderer to dead victim, and the way the detectives are the complete opposite to must stories, in this case a bit dim, not looking at the facts that are there. While Dahl's characters are flexible, Conan-Doyle's stay rigid and static. Dr Roylott stays violent, Helen Stoner stays terrified, and Holmes stays as vigilant and observant as ever, the complete opposite. 1 Year 11 'Murder mystery' coursework. By Edward Brett 10HY 1 ...read more.

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