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

Compare the two approaches to the detective story as shown in "The Speckled Band" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and "Lamb to the Slaughter" by Roald Dahl.

Extracts from this document...


February 2001 Wider Reading Maryanne Parker Mrs Anderson Compare the two approaches to the detective story as shown in "The Speckled Band" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and "Lamb to the Slaughter" by Roald Dahl. Both of these short stories, "Lamb to the Slaughter" by Roald Dahl and "The Speckled Band" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, are written by very famous authors. They are also both detective stories. However apart from this they have very little in common. Although both stories do reflect the language and customs of the era in which they were written. The woman's roles, for example, reflect the times in which the stories were written. In Lamb to the Slaughter Mary Maloney is a typical 1950's housewife, she tries to please her husband by fetching drinks, hanging up his coat and feeling anxious of his dinner. "She took his coat and hung it in the closet." Similarly the role of Helen Stoner is very much of a 'damsel in distress' who requires male assistance. She has no money or access to it until after marriage. She also has no means of escape from Dr Roylett except through marriage. She is possible still mourning for her sister "A lady dressed in black and heavily veiled" this is not unusual for the 1890's. ...read more.


The reader feels dislike for him. His motive is greed, he should be caught. Both characters are clever. Mary Maloney because she knew that she had to believe her self to be innocent in order to convince others, "'hullo Sam' she said brightly out loud" and Doctor Roylett was clever in his elaborate planning. The victims are Patrick Maloney in Lamb to the Slaughter and Helen Stoner in the Speckled Band. Julia Stoner is also a victim but her death occurs before the beginning of the story and we do not know much about her. A similarity between Helen Stoner and Patrick Maloney is that neither victim was essentially a bad person, although the husband in Lamb to the Slaughter was quite callous to be leaving his devoted wife when she was six months pregnant. A difference is that in Lamb to the Slaughter there is not a danger of Mary Maloney killing again whereas in the Speckled Band Helen is still a potential victim. Helen is possibly suspicious of Dr. Roylett as she went to see Sherlock Holmes without him knowing. Helen is a secretive person, "...Have you told me all?" "Yes, all." "Miss Stoner, you have not." ...read more.


"Mary Maloney was waiting for her husband to come home from work." The ending of the story shows this. At the end of Lamb to the Slaughter the reader is wondering what happens next unlike in The Speckled Band. The ending also adds a touch of humour. "Mary Maloney began to giggle." This could indicate relief because she feels she has escaped capture. On the other hand it could be a response to the stress off the day. Or perhaps she felt that something was wrong in her marriage and was pleased that things worked out for her. She was not really pleased that her husband was dead. If she were the short story would have been too cold and sinister. Lamb to the Slaughter and The Speckled Band were both enjoyable to read, and were well written. However Lamb to the Slaughter was more realistic than The Speckled Band -a snake in a safe? - A baboon and a cheeter on the premises? It was also easier to read and more humorous. Sherlock Holmes was infallible one feels that he would have solved the crime in Lamb to the Slaughter had he been on the case. However he is more prone to catching thorough villains rather than pregnant women who are being deserted by their husbands. ...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. The Signalman by Charles Dickens and Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahl

    Pre-20th century not all people could read and write so those who could read books and were the educated people. It is also written the way that was generally accepted at that time. Phrases like "He had been, when young" and "'It is very difficult to impart, sir,'" are not

  2. Compare and contrast “Lamb to the slaughter” by Roald Dahl with “Vendetta” by Guy ...

    In "Lamb to the slaughter," Mary did not plan to kill her husband, but in "Vendetta," Saverini spent months carefully planning the murder. The two stories were written over a century apart. The circumstances, in which the murders happened, were completely different.

  1. Comparing Roald Dahl's 'Lamb to the Slaughter' 1954 and 'The Speckled Band' by Sir ...

    The man then gets another drink which has 'little oily swirls in the liquid because it was so strong'. This is the action of an agitated, uneasy person. I actually thought Mary's husband was the murderer because she seemed so incapable and he was clearly tense or worried about something.

  2. Comparison between two short storys - Roald Dahl's Lamb to the slaughter and Sir ...

    There is one similarity between the two murderers they are both very clever, they both knew what they had to do to cover the murder up from the detectives, When Mary killed Patrick she knew she had to get a alibi, Mary used her husbands job cleverly she remembered what

  1. Compare 'Lamb to the Slaughter' with 'The Speckled Band', assessing their effectiveness as examples ...

    makes the story successful because of the time the story was written in, and the attitudes of the people it was written for. In Dahl's 'Lamb to the Slaughter' the detective characters are being used for the first time so there is no set expectations of them like with Doyle's detectives.

  2. comparison of 'lamb of the slaughter' and 'the speckled band'

    Evidence that `Lamb to the Slaughter` is set in the 1900's is also the language. An example of this is that slang is used; `Hullo`. But signs can also be found in the detective's method as a photographer is used.

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

    know he will perform a such rubbing out of her which is not a crime. But he plays along with her rudeness and becomes "unable to speak", we then sympathise for him because of the cruelty inflicted upon him by an unusual worker- Mrs Barrows.

  2. With reference to 'The Speckled Band' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and 'Lamb To ...

    The atmosphere changes when he informs us that, "he did an unusual thing. He lifted his glass and drained it in one swallow, although there was still half of it left." This shows that he normally drank his drink slowly.

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