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Comparing short stories- lamb to the slaughter and the speckled band.

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Introduction

Comparing short stories- lamb to the slaughter and the speckled band Lamb to the Slaughter' was written by Roald Dahl in 1954 shortly after the Second World War. Roald Dahl is famous for writing children's stories, like Charlie and the chocolate factory and James and the Giant Peach. Roald Dahl also writes stories for adults. Lamb to the slaughter is a fine example of an adult murder mystery story. Lamb to the slaughter is about a housewife waiting for her husband to come. When he does return home, he gives her bad news. Dazed by this news, she goes to the freezer to cook lamb for their supper but without warning strikes her husband over the head with it. She then goes to her local shop to create an Alibi. When the police come round to investigate she offers them the lamb which she killed her husband with. And without knowing it is the murder weapon the police eat the leg of lamb, destroying the evidence. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote 'The Speckled Band' in 1892. His stories are about the famous detective Sherlock Holmes set in late Victorian and early Edwardian England. ...read more.

Middle

Grimesby Roylott's house in late Victorian or early Edwardian England. The house where the murder was committed is a typical convention. ' The building was of grey, lichen - blotched stone, with a high central portion and two curving wings. The windows were broken and blocked with wooden boards, while the roof was partly caved in. A picture of ruin.' The house also had a Baboon and a Cheetah to add to the mysteriousness. This creates an eerie atmosphere where anything could happen to make the readers cautious and fear what may happen next. In lamb to the slaughter, the story was set in the 1950's, shortly after the Second World War. It is set in Patrick and Mary Maloney's house, which was a calm and relaxed atmosphere - unusual for a murder scene. 'The room was warm and clean, the curtains drawn, the two table lamps alight - hers and the one by the empty chair opposite. On the sideboard behind her, two tall glasses, soda water, whisky. Fresh ice cubes in the thermos bucket.' The atmosphere is calm but I think this is purposely done to create tension. You can tell that this story is set later than the speckled band. ...read more.

Conclusion

The time scenes are very different; Roald Dahl's was set in the 1950's and Conan Dahl's story was set in the 1890's. The languages are very different because of this time scale. Roald Dahl's murder was unintended but Conan Doyle's was planned. There are different narratives; the speckled band has a second person narrative and lamb to the slaughter has a third person narrative. We witness the murder in Roald Dahl's story but in Conan Doyle's story we do not find out what happened until the end of the story. These stories are also similar because they both have victims Patrick Maloney being one and Helen Stoner being the other. They both have murderers; Mary Maloney murdered her husband. Dr. Roylott did not directly murder Julia stoner but as he planned for a snake to kill her, he is still the murderer. They both have detectives; Sherlock Holmes and Jack Noonan Murder mysteries have changed a lot since Victorian times. Now there is technology that could pick things up for example the poison of the snake could not be detected in the speckled band but if it were in the time of lamb to the slaughter, scientists would probably have picked that up. Women would not be likely to be murders in Victorian times but now that is quite common. Annetoni James 11I ...read more.

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