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Comparison of “Lamb to the Slaughter” and“The Adventure of the Speckled Band”detective stories.

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Introduction

Comparison of "Lamb to the Slaughter" and "The Adventure of the Speckled Band" detective stories. A detective, a crime, a victim, a culprit/criminal, a suspect, a witness, mystery, suspense, clues, evidence, interviews, alibis and a twist. These are all the things good detective story will include. To compare two detective stories and see how they differ, you need to know that that they have these things in common. Both of my two chosen detective stories have these qualities, and in this essay, I will be trying to find out how and why they are different. 'Lamb to the Slaughter' by Roald Dahl is a very ironic and deceiving title. It gives the impression of something sweet and innocent - like a lamb, being killed or sacrificed. The beginning of the story will make you continue to think this. The title is also a bit mysterious because even though we have an idea of what it mean, we are not sure, and it is very vague. It only becomes apparent when you have read some of the story that the title is referring to the murder weapon - a frozen leg of lamb. 'The Adventure of the Speckled Band' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, however, isn't as mysterious, because later on in the story it can be used as a clue to help solve the crime. ...read more.

Middle

The methods of detection are tremendously different in the two stories. In 'Adventure of the Speckled Band,' Sherlock Holmes listens and takes in everything that Helen Stoner is saying. He asks a lot of questions, even ones that you would not have thought mattered. He even asks "Is it your custom to always lock yourselves in at night... why?" He also asks, "Was your sister dressed?" Why should the questions be relevant in trying to find Julia Stoner's killer? In 'Lamb to the Slaughter' the detectives only ask the obvious questions - Questions that come almost instinctively. It becomes quite clear that Sherlock Holmes 'digs deeper' and takes his cases a lot more personally than the detectives in 'Lamb to the Slaughter.' Sherlock Holmes does, however, have more clues. The bell pull that doesn't work, the ventilator that goes from one room to the other, the dog lash, the clanging of the metal, the whistling and the saucer of milk all help Sherlock Holmes solve the crime. The police detectives only have Patrick Maloney's dead body as a clue AND evidence. The time period that the stories are set in is probably the reason why the methods of detection are so different. 'Lamb to the Slaughter' is obviously quite recent as Mary Maloney heard "tyres on the gravel outside and the car door slamming..." ...read more.

Conclusion

When Mary Maloney tries to get the police to eat the lamb, you just want to know if the policemen will realise why she is so adamant that they eat it. We know that if the lamb is eaten, Mary Maloney will be free and get away with the crime. In 'The Adventure of the Speckled Band,' suspense is created when Sherlock Holmes and Watson are in Helen Stoner's bedroom waiting for Dr Roylett to strike. At this point in the story, we don't know what the killer is, and so the readers are eagerly anticipating Dr Roylett to start the whole murdering process. There is a twist in the end of 'Adventure of the Speckled Band.' We are expecting Helen Stoner to be the next victim, and so it is quite shocking when we find out that Dr Roylett has just died. When the snake has been thrown in to the safe, and the 'story' part has finished, it goes back to Watson just rounding up the events, as he was doing in the very beginning of the story. The ending of 'Lamb to the Slaughter' is when the police detectives are eating the leg of lamb. The last sentence is very effective, as we have not seen this side of Mary Maloney in the story before. "And in the other room, Mary Maloney began to giggle." From this, we know that Mary Maloney will get away with the murder, and that she is obviously pleased with herself. ...read more.

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