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Comparison of "Lamb to the Slaughter" and "The Speckled Band"

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Comparison of "Lamb to the Slaughter" and "The Speckled Band" The two stories, "Lamb to the Slaughter" and "The Speckled Band" are both of the same genre, as they are both murder mysteries. They both deal with difficult cases, but the murder in "The Speckled Band" appears to be difficult to comprehend, and is reasonably astute as it uses Eastern ideas and animals to fulfil the plot, creating a mystical cloud around the murder and everything related to it. Because of this, the case seems to be quite complex compared to "Lamb To The Slaughter" - therefore, the reader can get the idea that the case is almost impossible to solve. "Lamb to the Slaughter" has a very simple plot to it, but in this case the murder is so good the murderer gets off. It is ironic that in "The Speckled Band", the murder has a more complicated plot and plan behind it, but fails when the murderer gets found out. However, in "The Speckled Band", the murder is a snap reaction that didn't require any planning - and she gets away with it. In "The Speckled Band" we want the detective to solve the murder to tell us how it was done, while in "Lamb to the Slaughter" we know how the murder was committed and we read on to see if she gets away with it. We also have two different writing styles as one of them was written in the nineteenth century (The Speckled Band) ...read more.


We see the story from the point of view of Holmes humble assistant and best friend, Watson. Watson will always look at Holmes in a good light, because they have been best friends for many years. Also, because of the past tense at the beginning of the story, we can tell straight away that Watson is still alive to tell the story. This is different to the style of writing we see in "Lamb To The Slaughter", because we see it in a third-person view in the present tense. I feel that this can affect the story - because things can be told to the reader in different circumstances or in a different light. For instance, I feel that "The Speckled Band" would have been more gripping if it was told in a present tense - because we would feel that we are there with Holmes, instead of being told what happened. My preference is to always be the third person in a story, as "Lamb To The Slaughter" does. Roald Dahl, The writer of "Lamb To The Slaughter" gives us the description of Maloney's movement, this is to make the reader feel more involved with the story - and enhances the fact that we are in the same room as Mary Maloney. "She took his coat and hung it in the closet. Then she walked over and made the drinks" This also helps us to get a feel for the mood in the house, and the tension between the two characters (Mary and her husband). ...read more.


The stories are quite easy to compare, but not because they are similar, but because they are different - so different that I have been able to go through the opposites. I think that both stories are good to read, and the authors tailored the stories to make the typical reader of their day enjoy it, using techniques that are true to their day. However, both stories are still good to read at this present day. But, just because the stories were written in different time periods doesn't mean that they have to be different and use different techniques to grab the readers attention - both authors come from different backgrounds. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a highly respected, upper class citizen that was brought up in conditions that led to a good education. Roald Dahl, was brought up in more present surrounding and boasts a middle-class up-bringing. Surely, the experiences a person has, and the up bringing a person has an affect on the way a story is written - and I feel this has a big part to play in the comparison of this two stories. There is one final key to a story, the ending. Whilst the writer of "The Speckled Band" reveals the murderer and motive at the end of the story, the audience is left in their shocked state to make up their mind on what drove a pregnant woman to kill her own husband within those short few minutes! ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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