• 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 same characteristics of murder mysteries. Compare the murderers, victims and motives between the two stories.

Extracts from this document...


* Both "Lamb to the Slaughter" and "The Speckled Band" share some of the same characteristics of murder mysteries. Compare the murderers, victims and motives between the two stories. A stereotypical view of a murder mystery usually includes a killer, a victim, detectives, weapons, and alibis. Other important features are the language used, the suspense contained within and maybe twist in the tale. A good murder mystery would keep the reader interested and guessing what is to happen next. Obviously, each 'murder mystery' has to have a killer. Conan Doyle has made the character of Dr Roylott to be a typical traditional murderer. From the descriptions given by the characters in the book, the reader may already notice that he is capable of doing such crimes. '...a huge man', 'A large face seared with a thousand wrinkles and marked with every evil passion', '...deep-set, bile shot eyes', ...'high thin fleshless nose, gave him the resemblance of a fierce bird of pray' '...violence of temper approaching mania' He lived an isolated life once he moved. Instead of being friendly and sociable 'he shut himself up in his house, and seldom came out, save to indulge in ferocious quarrels with whoever might cross his path.' ...read more.


It seemed like there was a stable relationship and that she was happy to follow the same precise routine everyday. "When the clock said ten minutes to five, she began to listen, and a few minutes later, punctually as always, she heard the tyres on the gravel outside." She is able to stay calm about the crime she has just committed. Instead of panicking she is in control of the situation. 'Alright.' 'So I've killed him' She covers up perfectly by getting an alibi and cleverly disposes of the murder weapon which is the twist in the tale. She needs the alibi because she is bearing a child and doesn't want to be put in prison. This furthermore adds to the unlikely ness of her being the killer. Unlike Dr Roylott she has the ability to act innocent whilst the police were investigating. It is as though Mrs Maloney has done this before and the highly intelligent mother-to-be even thinks of giving them whiskey beforehand to slow down their thinking. Dahl develops the character of Mrs Maloney. ...read more.


Conan Doyle sticks with the traditional approach and uses an unstable, terrified woman. 'It is not cold which makes me shiver... It is terror'. The victim of 'The Speckled Band', Helen Stoner is also just about to come into some money. So there is a reason why she has been targeted, she is innocent and can't defend her self, as she would like to. However, unlike Helen who is a typical victim, Patrick Maloney is different. The reader wouldn't think at first that he was going to be the murdered. This is because if he were killed there would be nothing much gained, like the money involved with 'The Speckled Band'. Whilst reading 'Lamb to the Slaughter' the characteristics of Mr Maloney could suggest that he was the murderer instead of the victim, with his aggressive stance, drinking of whiskey and short monosyllabic answers. So it is a shock when he is killed instead of the other way around. Overall, 'Lamb to the Slaughter' and 'The Speckled Band' are both thought provoking, appealing murder mysteries but each in their own distinctive techniques. The murderers in each story both have their different motives and methods and the victims have been targeted for a specific reason. Russell San Felipe ...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 Roald Dahl 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 Roald Dahl essays

  1. Both Lamb to the slaughter and the Speckled Band share some characteristics of murder ...

    The description is completely different from Mary Maloney - introduced as a caring, loving wife who is carrying her husband's child - yet is also a murderer. I think these differences are due to both the time in which the stories were written and the reason why.

  2. Both The Speckled Band and Lamb to the Slaughter share some characteristics of the ...

    What were the laws about murderers with unborn children? Did they kill them both-mother and child? Or did they wait until the tenth month? What did they do?" As Lamb to the Slaughter was written later than The Speckled Band the readers prefer all the unanswered questions, the twist, the

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

    fell right into Jack Noonans arms', while the other officers say, 'What happened?' Sherlock does not have these constraints, he wants to solve the mystery, and then maybe even get another mystery after. Holmes dominates the story as the book is based on him and how he works.

  2. Both "Lamb to the slaughter" and "The Speckled Band" shares some of the characteristics ...

    Also, the way that the story is narrated is convenient in helping Dahl give an impression on the characters. He uses a third person voice throughout the story to give the feeling that the narrator knows Mrs Maloney well and is biased to her side.

  1. Both "Lamb to the Slaughter" and "The Speckled Band" share some characteristics of murder ...

    and has an effect on the reader by making the reader wanting to read on and find out what is going to happen. Mrs Maloney waits on her husband hand and foot but is there another reason? She could be doing this because she knows something is wrong and she wants to keep him talking.

  2. Compare and contrast the way the writer's depict relationships between men and women in ...

    women emotionally/sexually we are not surprised with the deceit towards the social/historique context. Kytes is the male gender looking for responsibility towards women. The society did not except women to be pushy and they did not except men/women to be promiscuous.

  1. Comparison between Murder Mystery stories - " Lamb to the slaughter" and "Speckled Band".

    In contrast to this, 'Lamb to the Slaughter' uses an unordinary weapon but a different method of killing. No clues were needed to find out Patrick Maloney had been killed by being struck on the head. I suppose you could argue that they did not know what the weapon actually

  2. How Effective Do You Find "Speckled Band" and "Lamb To The Slaughter" as Murder ...

    I would relate this atmosphere to a typical atmosphere of a murder mystery, to add to this atmosphere or fear and horror were both a baboon and cheetah in the house. The mention of the 'claws of a crab' while describing the house shows that the setting is supposed to

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