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Comparing 'Lamb to the Slaughter' and 'The Speckled Band'.

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Introduction

Wide Reading Assignment Murder mysteries have a motive to start off the investigation. Murder mysteries always have detectives, murder/ killing, alibis, victims, weapons, evidence, and a twist in a tail, a bit of suspense or maybe a lot of suspense. The location and the setting are some of main factors for murder mysteries. If a murder mystery does not contain any of these, it cannot be defined as a murder mystery. Roald Dahl wrote 'Lamb to the Slaughter'. It was first published in 1954. 'Lamb to the Slaughter' is written in speech of time the story was published. In 'Lamb to the Slaughter' the use of present day modern language so automatically gives the impression that it is written in present day modern and now. Roald Dahl is more famous for writing children's story. Roald Dahl always writes about ordinary people who get involved in difficult situations for his stories for adults. 'Lamb to the Slaughter' is more prominent as an adult's story. This is a murder mystery and one of the two short stories that I am going to investigate. The other short story, which I will be investigating, is 'The Speckled Band'. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote 'The Speckled Band'. It was first published in 1892. 'The Speckled Band' is also written in speech of the time 'The Speckled Band' was first published. The language of that time seemed to be much formal as accurate English and much less slang was used. ...read more.

Middle

It was said to be part hereditary and part from living in the tropics for so long. He had even thrown the local blacksmith over a bridge, so if he could do that to a blacksmith, normal people had no chance. He also allowed gypsies onto his land, and would disappear off with them for weeks at a time. He also had a cheetah and a baboon roaming his land, showing that he could not leave India behind. Her sister met a half-pay Major of Marines at her aunt's house, and if she were to marry him Dr Grimesby Roylott would have to pay �250 a year of his �1000. A half pay soldier is a from private soldier who already has enough money to live, and does not need paying; he is an amateur soldier. On the day of the murder the weather had been bad and full of forbidding, offering perhaps some pathetic fallacy of the awful deed done that night. Then from the story being quiet and conversational it very quickly turns into a scene of action and murder. The last words of her sister were very confusing, and so puzzled everyone; which added mystery and cynicism. The next main event was when Percy Armitage asks for her hand in marriage. When this happens she is told to move to the room where her sister had died. From this point onwards the reader is very neutral, as they talk of what to do, and in a classic Sherlock Holmes way he talks of what to do and when to do it, but it will all happen because of logic. ...read more.

Conclusion

Towards the end Mary gets referred less and less as a person and more as an object; this shows her identity as a murderer is disappearing. Both of the murders are perfectly planned and carried out, but the one has a detective which we need to solve the case, and the other is a case of will the murderer be caught? 'Lamb to the slaughter' was probably the most well known of Dahl's short stories, simply because (in my opinion) it is so simple. There is not a single wasted word in it. It's gripping, shocking, and yet the story proceeds in such a rational manner that the readers' suspension of disbelief is never broken. We are with Mary Maloney from the first sentence of the story, and only at the end do we realise that we never really knew her at all. The irony of it all is that the police who were puzzled why they could not find the murder weapon we are consuming it. This was almost a sick comical twist to the ending. When she laughs didn't seem funny but more sinister and evil. Compare 'The Speckled Band', 'Lamb to the Slaughter' is easy to work out from 'The Speckled Band' and more predictable. So if you are looking for a challenge 'The Speckled Band' is the one to read but I think for the younger readers 'Lamb to the Slaughter' would be better. 'The Speckled Band' was much more complicated and had much more twists and turns in it, and you weren't sure what was going to come next. Muaaz Yasin 11.1 En2/Lit Wide Reading I ...read more.

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