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Comparing "Lamb to the Slaughter" and "The Speckled Band" How far do these stories reflect the era within they were written?

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Introduction

Comparing "Lamb to the Slaughter" and "The Speckled Band" How far do these stories reflect the era within they were written? I am going to compare two short stories which both belong to the same genre of murder mystery. "Lamb to the Slaughter" was written by Roald Dahl and was written in the 1950's."Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote the Speckled Band in 1864. In the "Speckled Band" the female character is Helen Stoner. Helen is a passive victim, as she hasn't done anything wrong to warrant being murdered by Dr Ryolott, Just as Julia her sister who was murdered. The Description of Helen Stoner is "...Her face all drawn and grey, with restless frightened eyes, like those of some hunted animal. Her features and figure were those of a woman of thirty, but her hair was short with premature grey and her expression was weary and haggard." Her description shows that she has had a lot of hardship in her life as she has lost her mother, her sister and her step father beats her up you can tell this from later on in the story when she has bruises. ...read more.

Middle

Dr Roylott is a typical villain as his description tells you this as then no one pretty looking could do anything bad. Dr Roylott is also very violent as he has already killed his native butler and narrowly escaped a capital sentence "last week he hurled the local blacksmith over a parapet into a stream" This shows that he is and has been very violent. He seems very protective about his affairs and is a hard man towards Helen. He is very dominant towards her and he expects to be obeyed. Sherlock Holmes appears to know the answer and he decides what to do, Helen listens to him and does what he says even though she knows her stepfather will be angry. Mr Maloney always has monosyllabic conversations. He shows this when he said that he was leaving Helen, He uses very short sentences as if he doesn't care ' as he went further and further away from her with each word' from this quote I can tell that Mr Maloney is leaving her and the story says 'and he told her'. This shows that there was no discussion of this and therefore he expects her to put up with it. ...read more.

Conclusion

Then he broke into a low laugh and put his lips to my ear' this shows tension as Dr Watson doesn't know what he is suppose to be seeing '"It is a nice household " he murmured "that is the baboon"' This tells us that they were scared and didn't know what the baboon was this makes the story more tense. There is also more tension when "Holmes had brought up a long thin cane, and this he placed upon the bed beside him. By it he laid the box of matches and the stump of a candle. Then he turned down the lamp and we were left in darkness" This made the story tense as Dr Watson didn't know what was going to happen in the dark. "Shall I forget that dreadful vigil? I could hear no sound not even the drawing of a breath and yet I knew that my companion sat opened eyed, within a few feet of me in the state of nervous tension" This shows that Dr Watson was nervous. There is more tension when Sherlock Holmes saw something "you see it Watson" he yelled " you see it" Dr watson didn't see anything apart from Sherlocks face deadly pale and filled with horror. ...read more.

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