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

Comparing the Build up of Suspense in "Lamb to the Slaughter" and "The Speckled Band".

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Comparing the Build up of Suspense in "Lamb to the Slaughter" and "The Speckled Band" "Lamb to the Slaughter", written by Roald Dahl in the mid 20th century and "The Speckled Band", written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the late 19th century, both use techniques to build up suspense found common among crime stories. However, whereas "The Speckled Band" has all of the elements of a classic crime story, clues, detectives, murder, mystery, resolution and victims "Lamb to the Slaughter" does not, "Lamb to the Slaughter" is without the element of resolution, although this does not dramatically effect the build up suspense as the murderer is almost caught. To analyse suspense first we must understand what it is. A definition of suspense: state of uncertainty, especially while awaiting news, an event etc.; anxiety, worry. Within all crime stories a crime must take place, hence the name of the genre. When there is a suspicious situation, the reader's mind automatically thinks of the most negative possible outcome of the situation, this is human nature. Human nature in conjunction with the fact that a crime must take place creates anxiety and worry in a situation where the outcome is uncertain this causes the reader to read out of curiosity, which builds up suspense. Dahl uses particular techniques to create suspense in "Lamb to the Slaughter", to keep the reader on the edge of their seat and keep them guessing what shall happen next. ...read more.

Middle

Grimsby Roylott is a violent man who has killed in the past: He is a man of immense strength and absolutely uncontrollable in his anger." Suspense is limited, however it is still at quite a high level. Mentioning murder in conjunction with mystery it is enough to send the suspense levels racing, like dropping a drop of blood in a pool full of piranha, there is the slight taste of flesh but no actual meat, yet the piranha are set on a frenzy. The mystery is: "How did Julia Stoner die?" The main suspect, Dr. Roylott is a violent character that is capable of murder. However no one was to be seen as Julia Stoner died. Suspense steadily rises throughout the explanation of Helen Stoner's situation, as it was identical of that of Julia Stoner before she died, it as if she was describing the hole she was in, with every sentence she said the deeper the hole became. Suspense is low during the process where Holmes tries to find a solution to solving what is happening in the Stoke Moran household as this is mainly the analysis of clues such as the ventilation shaft that does not ventilate. However this is where interest from the reader peaks as the reader them self attempts to solve the mystery. ...read more.

Conclusion

By the mid 20th century, in which Dahl wrote 'Lamb to the Slaughter', women's equality was being firmly established and there was belief that it was plausible to commit crime without being caught. This was reflected by Dahl in 'The Lamb to the Slaughter', in which, butter wouldn't melt in her mouth Mary Maloney, a female character, committed murder, perverted the course of justice and was not prosecuted. A fundamental difference between the two, perhaps influenced by their times, is how the stories captivate the audience into, in 'The Speckled Band', wanting the resolution of the mystery and capture of the culprit, and in 'The Lamb to the Slaughter', we wish for Mary Maloney, murderer, to evade justice and not get caught. In conclusion, I believe that suspense is not created by the writer, but in fact by the reader's mind. Readers assume the worst possible outcome of a situation, as this is just an assumption and the reader is unsure what actually happens, anxiety and a chance to put their minds at ease drives them to read on. Suspense is merely a tool for writers to get their book read. As a carpenter would be without his tools, an author of this genre would be without suspense. Could this mentality be as a result of influences given from society, or perhaps just our fucked up nature? Comparing Two Short Stories 1 Stepney Green School 10548 ...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. Compare The Signalman by Charles Dickens and Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahl. ...

    Again we can compare the descriptive style of both of the authors if we look at how Dickens describes the signal man and the place he works with Dahl's description of the Maloney's living room. "Excluding all view but a strip of sky; the perspective one way only a crooked

  2. Discuss how suspense and tension are created in‘Lamb to the Slaughter’ and ‘The Speckled ...

    This is when the reader isn't told what a certain character said or did. For example, in 'Lamb to the Slaughter', when Mary Maloney's husband told her what he had done wrong. The writer doesn't tell the reader what he said to Mary.

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

    Mrs Maloney is horrified because of the father of her child is lost, the writer does this to show how they have a weak relationship between each other. Suspense arises here when Mr Maloney reveals his shocking revelation to his wife: "This is going to be a bit of a

  2. Compare and Contrast 'The Speckled Band' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, which was written ...

    From what is written Jack Noonan and Charlie are quite laid back and not too bright. For example, in the story they both eat the piece of lamb which is the murder weapon and have a glass of whisky. They eat because Mary has told them to do so and without thinking they do it.

  1. Compare and Contrast "Lamb To the Slaughter" with "The Speckled Band".

    So the fact that the fiendish Doctor was killed at the end of the story may lead you to believe that he was indeed a victim of his own evil scheme. This is quite similar to the other story that I have been reading because in both of these novels

  2. An Examination of How the Authors of ‘the Speckled Band’ and ‘ Lamb To ...

    This and Watson's childlike adoration for Holmes, encourages the readership, so that they too, are receptive to the idea of Holmes being an altogether impressive figure: "I had no keener pleasure than following Holmes .........and in admiring his rapid deductions like intuition .......".

  1. The Case for the Defence and the Call Waiting.

    He informs the detective who matches the fingerprints to those found at the scene. The mystery phone answerer then gives Jason (husband) information the catch the killer. The detective catches him and then Jason finds out that the mystery phone answerer was the murderer's wife.

  2. Comparing 'Lamb to the Slaughter' written in the mid-twentieth century, and 'The Speckled Band' ...

    characters that have gathered for the conclusion saying something like "It was you that killed her" and then retorting how he did so, with care and including detail, leaving the readers like "Ooh, yeah." It was different because it didn't make us wonder which is what I associate with a murder story.

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