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Compare The Speckled Band and Lamb to the Slaughter referring to the structure, language and characterisation. In what ways are the stories typical of the detective story genre ?

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Introduction

Compare The Speckled Band and Lamb to the Slaughter referring to the structure, language and characterisation. In what ways are the stories typical of the detective story genre ? The Speckled Band was written and set in 1892 by Arthur Conan Doyle. It includes Inspector Holmes solving another mystery involving a woman put into a similar situation to her late sister. The story Lamb to the Slaughter was written and set in the 1950's by Roald Dahl. It is not typical of a detective story unlike The Speckled Band. It involves a woman killing her husband with a leg of lamb. The mood at the beginning of The Speckled Band is one typical of a detective story. Set in a late Victorian style and involving a stately manor described as having a "gathering darkness". Whereas at the beginning of Lamb to the Slaughter it is has a much warmer feel to it. The effect upon the reader is one of tranquillity and calm and is completely different to that of The Speckled Band. The Speckled Band relies much more on the Victorian values to create suspense and eerie-ness whereas Lamb to the Slaughter focuses on a more domestic setting and uses the home to put the reader at ease. ...read more.

Middle

These are all realistic characters and would have been seen often at the times these were written yet nowadays few women remain like this and prefer to try and be the opposite. Mr Maloney I feel compares to Dr. Watson in some ways in that they are both quite predictable and are quite easily sussed as to their actions. I feel the anger and malice of Dr Roylott could be portrayed to that of Mrs Maloney during the murder as she acted purely without much thought and with uncontrollable malice, wanting to hurt her husband with the closest large object (their dinner - a leg of lamb) Holmes is a character all of his own and could not be matched by anyone throughout history. He illustrates the time perfectly and is supposed to have studied at either Oxford or Cambridge. Yet despite this he emphasised his use of cocaine in the form of Opium during The Speckled Band, although common during Victorian times, we would not expect someone of his stature to do such a thing. He can compare to no one within Lamb to the Slaughter The style of Lamb to the Slaughter feels like a short story much like today's short films. ...read more.

Conclusion

Maloney seems to notice. The only feature of the plot, which appears to be the same, is that the person we think will be killed is actually the one who gets murdered. Dr. Roylott is obviously the one who quite obviously we expect to commit the murder. Yet in Lamb to the Slaughter it is Mr. Maloney who ends up dead instead of Mrs Maloney yet we expect to be murdered as she is the stereotypical victim which has led to the phrase "It's the one you least expect". This I feel is the twist in the tale, as this is not expected to happen as this fights against the stereotypical small person gets killed. This is often seen, as the timid person is usually the ones who express the most anger. The effect is one of surprise and it is this that adds to the suspense of the detective story genre. I feel The Speckled Band was the better story. It had a greater suspense created throughout the story and I felt personally that Lamb to the Slaughter was too ironic and unbelievable to be true. It was slightly uncanny to have been considered for the detective genre, it is (like most other Roald Dahl stories,) comical and is not really a detective story. ...read more.

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