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

Compare and contrast the two short stories

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Lamb to the Slaughter and Captain Murderer In this essay, I am going to compare and contrast the two short stories "Lamb to the Slaughter" and "Captain Murderer", picking out techniques used by the authors which make it different to a typical murder mystery. When one thinks of a murder mystery, one usually thinks of images like a large, stately home, a cunning butler, and a bloodstained candlestick, and an intelligent and observant detective with a comparatively incompetent sidekick. In the end, the detective solves the case, justice is done and the murderer is put behind bars. "Lamb to the Slaughter" and "Captain Murderer" both have the ingredients for a murder mystery, i.e. a murderer who is cold, calculating and a bit mad, but neither follow the traditional murder mystery style. "Lamb to the Slaughter" was written by Roald Dahl, in 1954. He is more famous for his children's books, but has also written many short stories for adults, compiled in books such as "Tales of the Unexpected" and "Switch Bitch". In these books he writes about strange things happening to ordinary people. "Captain Murderer" was written by Charles Dickens, one of the literary greats, more well known for his adult books such as "Great Expectations" and "Hard Times" about British society before 1900. ...read more.

Middle

The strange thing about Mary is that instead of reacting to the terrible crime she has committed , she merely says "alright, so I've killed him". the change in her character happens immediately at this point. "it was extraordinary now, how clear her mind became all of a sudden, she began thinking very fast". She doesn't even mind that the death penalty is acceptable. This is not the general frame of mind of a loving housewife who just killed her husband. She is either completely in control of the situation, thinking ahead to how she is going to cover it up, or in shock and denial. I think it is a bit of both. The detectives run a rather disorderly case, and don't find out who the murderer is. They are pretty sloppy - Mary manipulates them into having some whiskey, which limits their powers of deduction so that when they are eating the murder weapon, they don't realise it. They don't base any of their time at the house thinking about the other aspects of a murder case, such as the motive or how the murderer got into the house, they spend all of their time looking for the murder weapon. They also don't pick up on Mary's odd, manipulative behaviour. ...read more.

Conclusion

They all marry him for his wealth and are expected to know how to make pies. "and if she couldn't, by nature or education, she was taught." To conclude, there are many similarities in the two stories. They are both untypical murder mysteries: in each, the wife kills the husband because of his cruel intentions; food plays a very dark and sinister role; both have what might be interpreted as a subtle, feminist subtext; there is a ritualistic element; both murderers get away with it; and both are written by authors writing differently to their normal style, and, particularly, context. There are also many differences between the two: one is a mock fairytale, told as though a child was reciting it. The other involves policemen trying to solve the case, which makes it more realistic. One features just one murder whereas the other has several. The heroine sacrifices herself in "Captain Murderer", whereas Mary is a more conniving character, and manages to evade capture. The murder she carries out happens on the spur of the moment, and may have been caused by a temporary loss of mental stability. In "Captain Murderer", the killing is done through a disturbing ritual, by a complete madman who undergoes no change in character. Descriptions of atmosphere, characters, and feeling are much more prominent in "Lamb to the Slaughter", whereas the main focus of "Captain Murderer" is on the story line and description of the ritual. ...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. A comparison of two short stories from the murder mystery genre

    'What about the child?'. At the end 'Mary Maloney began to giggle' when one of the detectives said 'probably right under our very noses'. This shows the temerity of Mary Maloney. In 'The Speckled Band' the drive to justice is much greater. Holmes is determined to bring down the killer.

  2. In this essay I will be comparing and contrasting the stories of the Vendetta ...

    As soon as the widow thinks of a plan of revenge, she becomes devious. She plans out far ahead and prepares everything perfectly. She trains the dog for three month, patiently waiting until the dog will follow her command perfectly.

  1. Compare the ways Wilkie Collins, Edgar Allen Poe and Roal Dahl create the characters ...

    innocent is, "and the eyes with their new placid look, seemed larger, darker than before". This could be a sign that there is something within her that makes her capable of murder. We feel that Dahl wants us to like Mary Maloney and feel sympathy towards her, "Watching him all

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

    It also suggests that the person deceives people, the Arch-Deceiver which is what we find out towards the end. Despite this Kytes deceives women which is what the author conveys. In the Catbird Seat the title refers to base-ball, being in control and doing well: "sitting in the Catbird Seat" This meant sitting pretty and being in control.

  1. The Case for the Defence and the Call Waiting.

    and the suspect/s (The Adam's Twins and Adrian Brown) and in one there is a detective (Maureen Mc Martin) and in the other witnesses (Mrs Salmon and other minor witnesses.) In the C.D. there is also a counsel and the reporter (writer). In the C.W. there is also the other significant character the phone answerer who's name is not revealed.

  2. Comparing 'Captain Murderer' by Dickens and 'Lamb to the slaughter' by Dahl.

    'Murderer' implies that there is Murder within the story, so 'Captain Murderer' suggests that the character is a Murderous Pirate. Dahl's title is much more deceitful to the reader. Although we do not get an immediate suggestion of Evilness in the title like 'Captain Murderer', we do however get the idea that someone is going to die.

  1. Comparison of ‘Lamb To the Slaughter’ By Roald Dahl and ‘the Signalman’ By Charles ...

    It was travelling at a high speed and ten people were killed in the accident and many more injured. Charles was badly shaken by the experience. The short story 'The Signalman' shows aspects of this accident. Trains were a new technology at the time that adds to the shock of the ordeal.

  2. How fear and suspense is formed during the two short stories ‘The Landlady’ and ...

    Billy Weaver is seventeen-years-old. He was wearing a new navy-blue overcoat, a new brown trilby hat, and a new brown suit. He walks briskly, as he has decided that "'Briskness' was the one common characteristic of all successful businessmen". Billy is trying hard to become a businessman, because he knows that businessmen are successful.

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