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Compare and Contrast Roald Dahl's Lamb to the Slaughter with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Adventure of the Speckled Band

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Introduction

Compare and Contrast Roald Dahl 'Lamb to the Slaughter' with Sir Arthur Conandoyle's 'Adventure of the Speckled Band' These stories are both murder novels but are told in different ways. In 'Lamb to the Slaughter' we are informed early on in the story who the murderer is and the mystery of the story is to figure out how she manages to outwit and fool the police whereas in 'Adventure of the Speckled Band' we are left to discover the identity of the murderer and how Sherlock Holmes works it out by ourselves. The writer in 'Lamb to the Slaughter' is omniscient, a person that sees all the action, and the story is based on the character, Mrs Maloney, not the writer. This is quite different compared to the 'Adventure of the Speckled Band' because this is written as someone's prospective (Watson's) and so this story is based on the writer. The sentences and paragraphs in 'Lamb to the Slaughter' are long and not very detailed or complex "The room was warm and clean" and "she took his coat and hung it in the closet" are quotes that prove my statement. ...read more.

Middle

There are many characters in 'Lamb to the Slaughter' but the story is concentrated mainly on Mr and Mrs Maloney, Sam and Jack Noonan. We are introduced to 4 main characters through out the story and we are not told the exact number of other characters like the police. In the 'Adventure of the Speckled Band' the story is concentrated on 3 main characters. We meet Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Roylott and Mrs Hudson. We are told about a lot more but we do not actually meet them in the story. The murderer in 'Lamb to the Slaughter' is written in a way that makes you feel sympathetic for her because she is pregnant and obviously cares a lot about the baby "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? Mary Maloney didn't know. And she certainly wasn't prepared to take a chance". ...read more.

Conclusion

They say "haven't" instead of have not (contractions) "I haven't made any supper because it's Thursday". In 'Adventure of the Speckled Band' the language is formal and proper English because it is set in the Nineteenth Century when people did not speak much slang "I cannot imagine" and "Sinister quest upon which we were engaged" (cannot instead of can't and we were instead of we're). The irony of 'Lamb to the Slaughter' is when the police eat the murder weapon and as they do one of Jack Noonan's colleagues says, "Personally, I think it's right here on the premises" and then another replies "Probably right under our very noses. What do you think Jack?" In 'Adventure of the Speckled Band' the irony occurs when the murderer of the story, Mr Roylett, sends a snake to attack and kill his daughter in law and Sherlock Holmes irritate the snake and it kills Mr Roylett instead "Some of the blows of my cane came home and roused its snakish temper, so that it flew upon the first person it saw (Mr Roylett)". ...read more.

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