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Differences and similarities between 'The Landlady' by Roald Dahl and 'The Adventure of the Speckled Band' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

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Introduction

Wider Reading Essay by David Marsh There are many differences and a few similarities between 'The Landlady' by Roald Dahl and 'The Adventure of the Speckled Band' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, I am going to write about them and to try to explain them. The first difference is the times in which the stories were written. 'The Landlady' was written in the 1960's, but the 'Adventure of the Speckled Band was written prior to the 1900's. Roald Dahl was often accused of under developing his characters but in his defence he said 'that a short story should entertain.' A reason for the character of 'The Landlady' being under developed is that 'The Landlady' is a 'one off' story, therefore it would be unnecessary to give the character of the Landlady detailed characteristics as it is never going to be used in another story, also in a short story, by its nature, it is short and does not have the time and length to develop characters as a longer novel would. ...read more.

Middle

We know this as it says '.... He got to Bath it was nine o'clock...' The exposition in the 'Speckled Band' tells us that the main character is Sherlock Holmes who is in his home and has been awakened earlier than usual by the arrival of a woman in black. So far both stories are similar and both explain the 'who', 'where', 'when' and 'why' questions. Next is the complication. The reader can tell when the story reaches the complication, as a character will encounter a problem or become troubled. In the 'Speckled Band' it is Helen Stoner who has a problem. Her sister mysteriously died two weeks before her wedding day. She suspects it was her violent stepfather Dr Grimsby Roylott, but is not certain. Now Helen is planning to get married and is worried that the same fate will happen to her, she has even been moved into the same bedroom that her sister was murdered in, by her stepfather. ...read more.

Conclusion

for example we already that the landlady is not in any way human and Billy Weavers tragic Fate, alternatively the 'Speckled Band' needs a resolution because of the many unexplained things. This is done in the form of Sherlock Holmes explaining to Helen Stoner what has happened. On top of the four basic parts of a story's structure there are two additional parts to it, these are the frame and mysteries. The frame is a couple of paragraphs at the beginning of a story and is used to set the scene for the rest of the story much like a complication. The reason why the 'Speckled Band has a frame and the 'Landlady' does not is that, as mentioned earlier, the Landlady is a one off story and the 'Speckled Band' is not. In conclusion these two stories have many differences, mainly because of the times in which they were written, but despite being written in totally different styles, but because they use the structures as outlined above it is possible to identify their similarities. ...read more.

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