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Compare both 'The Speckled Band' and 'Lamb To The Slaughter'

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Introduction

Tasos Nicolaou 11C2 Wider Reading Essay Compare both 'The Speckled Band' and 'Lamb To The Slaughter'. Both 'The Speckled Band' and 'Lamb To The Slaughter' are based on a murder mystery and both are quite intriguing. They both encompass a murder mystery plot, however, they are of a divergent disposition. Moreover, they are two similar stories from dissimilar time periods. This is visible throughout the duration of both stories, in the language and also the difference between the lengths of the stories is distinct. ('The speckled Band' - 1892 / 'Lamb To The Slaughter' - 1954) The opening of 'The Speckled Band' is contrary to 'Lamb To The Slaughter'. 'The Speckled Band' opens with the narrator reminiscing in relation to a crime. The element of secrecy that is exuded generates a somewhat peculiar mood. 'Lamb To The Slaughter' opens with a strange calmness, this doesn't prepare the reader for what is pending. A scene of domesticity, "The room was warm and clean." This opening phrase helps to capture the nature of a homely place. The murderers in the stories are also very different. Mary Maloney manipulates the detectives with her feminine impression, curiously tranquil and placid. ...read more.

Middle

It is a very masculine style of home, there is no indication of a woman's presence. Jack Noonan, the investigator in 'Lamb To The Slaughter' doesn't fit the concept of a detective. He is a kind, gentle man and doesn't question Mary Maloney very thoroughly. Sherlock Holmes, the investigator in 'The Speckled Band' definitely fits the idea of what a competent detective is akin to. He sets about solving the crime in a very meticulous manner. He uses basic implements such as a 'lens' and relies heavily on his observational skills. He questions Helen Stoner very directly, he is very accomplished at recapitulating the key points of a case. With contrast to Sherlock Holmes, Jack Noonan relies on clich�s 'get the weapon and you've got the man' and without the weapon he has no alternative method of solving the crime. Mary Maloney easily manipulates him, "she looked at him with her large, dark, tearful eyes." Jack Noonan has a minor role in the story. We do not feel confident about Jack Noonan, he easily assumes that Mary Maloney is innocent and his drinking is seen as unprofessional, he is very unrefined. ...read more.

Conclusion

Whereas in 'The Speckled Band' the sentences are longer and most sentences are quite complicated, the grammar is also more complicated. The elaborate vocabulary and detailed descriptions are typical of 19th Century writing. 'The Speckled Band' has an expected ending but what is surprising is the intriguing way in which Dr. Roylott carries out the murders. 'Lamb To The Slaughter' has a twist in the ending when the detectives actually eat the murder weapon, eliminating the possibility of Mary Maloney being caught. The title 'The speckled Band' is quite vague, the only link that is made with the title and the story is that the snake looks like a speckled band. 'Lamb To The Slaughter' has a double meaning, one being that Mary Maloney used a leg a lamb to slaughter her husband and the other being the detectives eating the lamb that Mary Maloney prepared. Personally I prefer 'Lamb To The Slaughter' because it is more of a modern story, I didn't really enjoy reading 'The Speckled Band' because it was quite long and tedious. Saying this, I still believe that both the stories in question are prime examples of murder mystery stories of their own time period. They are both competent as a murder mystery stories. ...read more.

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