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Compare and contrast Roald Dahls -Lamb to the Slaughter and Arthur Conan-Doyle’s - The Adventure of the Speckled Band

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Frances Haslam 11sw Compare and contrast Roald Dahls -Lamb to the Slaughter and Arthur Conan-Doyle's - The Adventure of the Speckled Band In this essay, I intend to compare and contrast the two short stories "The Adventure of the Speckled Band" by Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle, and "Lamb to the Slaughter" by Roald Dahl. Between the two there is one main similarity , they are both murder stories. However , Lamb to the slaughter does not need solving as we know who the murderer is as we saw the murder happen. The murder was not planned. Mrs. Maloney did not know she was going to kill her husband. We could say it was a crime of passion. After Mrs. Maloney has killed her husband in a quite early stage in the story the focus lies on Mrs. Maloney and whether she will remain innocent. There is a humorous tone throughout . A good example of a humorous twist is towards the end ; The policemen sat at the dinner table eating a leg of lamb , the murder weapon. It is also ironic as it is the only piece of evidence available. ...read more.


In fact, Mrs Maloney is more of a typical victim than a murderer. This is shown in the story throughout the opening ' now and again... would glance up at the clock... merely to please herself with the thought that each minute gone by made it nearer the time when he would come.' She already seems like a loving, caring housewife waiting for her husband to come home on a Thursday night, hardly capable of murder. The only aspect of mystery in Lamb to the Slaughter is when Mr. Maloney tells Mrs.Maloney something, to frustrate her and create it into the motive for murder. Throughout the police investigation, Mrs.Maloney acts very innocent and she is fortunate in this case as we know Mr.Maloney was in the police force . She manipulates the detectives into having a drink of whiskey and that slows down their train of thought , making them unable to realise that when they are sat at the table, they are eating the murder weapon. She almost seems as if she has done this before. The character of Mrs.Maloney is the last person you would think of as a murderer. ...read more.


In The Adventure of the Speckled Band the mystery is solved on the final page. Sherlock Holmes tells the reader of the exact happenings and in doing so leaves nothing to the readers imagination. This is an example of an anti- climax . However , in Lamb to the Slaughter , the reader already knows who the murderer is , but what the reader doesn't know is if Mrs.Maloney will remain innocent. The story is left to the reader's imagination. The irony in The Adventure of the Speckled Band is some what different as it is not humorous; as he was killing others , he was killed by the same methods. In The Adventure of the Speckled Band I can see some kind of moral " You get what you give" this is true in Dr.Roylatt's case as he did get exactly what he gave. Whereas the humorous irony in Lamb to the slaughter dominates the end of the story as the readers know the policemen are eating the murder weapon, the only piece of evidence available. I am glad Mrs.Maloney remained innocent at the end of the story as I think that she used her intelligence and courage as an advantage and her quick thinking created her a perfect alibi. ...read more.

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