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

In my essay I will be comparing the two short stories 'Lamb to the Slaughter' by Roald Dahl and 'The Signalman' by Charles Dickens.

Extracts from this document...


Comparing Short Stories In my essay I will be comparing the two short stories 'Lamb to the Slaughter' by Roald Dahl and 'The Signalman' by Charles Dickens. They both contain a twist in the tale and use the Macabre Tale Genre. The scenes are very different from on another and show different uses of language as Lamb to the slaughter uses 1900 text and The Signalman uses 20th Century text. The opening of Lamb to the slaughter gives the reader no reason to believe anything bad is going to happen. It starts off normal and uses words such as warm, clean and tranquil to paint the picture of the house being calm and a nice place. Though at the beginning of The Signalman it gives words such as gloomy and angry sunset to portray it is quite a scary maybe a dark and cold place. The Signalman is set in a 'Signal-box by a gloomy railway cutting with its dark tunnel' Lamb to the slaughter, being set in a house is completely different and delivers more of a calm and peaceful atmosphere. ...read more.


The husband is described as having 'A warm male glow that came out of him' And the 'Far look in his eyes when they rested on her, the funny slope of the mouth.' These are things that the writer has written that the wife thinks about Patrick, her husband. I like the character of the wife because I like the way she covers up her murdering her husband. She seems quite scheming and clever. I think the way she got rid of the evidence of the murder was good though it wasn't planned. That's what I like about the story, the way everything falls into place at the end. In the Signalman I didn't find the ghost very realistic or convincing. I don't think Charles Dickens described it well enough; it didn't make me very interested at all. Charles Dickens uses old English and so sometimes is hard to understand. I think that is why I didn't enjoy reading it or find it interesting. ...read more.


In Lamb to the Slaughter he is murdered and it wasn't expected at all. The twist in the tale in Lamb to the Slaughter is that nobody expects the wife to get rid of the evidence the way she does. We expect her to get caught out or even be suspected rather than being let off so easily. I find it clever the way everything falls into place the way it does. The twist in the tale in The Signalman is at the end when the narrator finds out that a train had run down the Signalman and right before that the driver was calling out to him 'Below there! Look out! Look out!' This is what the ghost had been calling out to him for days before hand. It makes you think about how the ghost knew. 'I may, in closing it, point out the coincidence that the warning of the engine-driver included, not only the words which the unfortunate signalman had repeated to me as haunting him, but also the words which myself - not he - had attached.' By Rachel Preston 10ME ...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. In this essay I am going to discuss how Dahl uses language, characters, and ...

    However, the next discovery is slightly more frightening and sinister. "And suddenly he realised that this animal had all the time been just a silent and motionless as the parrot."

  2. Compare and contrast the two short stories

    Another tense moment in the story is when Mary offers Sergeant Noonan a drink. One would think that he would have clocked on to this blatant attempt to get him tipsy, "why don't you have one yourself? Please do. You've been very good to me", but he doesn't become suspicious and accepts the drink.

  1. In this essay I will be comparing and contrasting the stories of the Vendetta ...

    By doing so Mary felt all the pain and horror of finding her husband dead again, yet this time she was heartbroken.

  2. Compare the ways Wilkie Collins, Edgar Allen Poe and Roal Dahl create the characters ...

    the only evidence that it was her that murdered him), the police officers joke, while they are eating the lamb, that the evidence is properly right under their noses, "and in the other room, Mary Maloney began to giggle" this is an effective ending, as we see another side to the character.

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

    Which was what it was like in that century. In Catbird Seat, it conveys deceit in employment and incredible reputation and hatred. There is no crime involved although at the beginning of the story the writer conveys the fact that a real crime such as a murder would occur despite

  2. Compare The Signalman by Charles Dickens and Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahl. ...

    We are also kept wondering whether she will be suspected of killing her husband especially when the police go to the scene of the crime "There was a great deal of whispering..." Dahl creates suspense right up until the end because we are hesitant whether the police are convinced by

  1. In this essay I will be looking at two stories one written in the ...

    We aren't told what Patrick says to Mary in "Lamb to the Slaughter" because this would be a bit of a predictable story, I think not being told also creates more suspense. Where "Lamb to the slaughter" is set (at home)

  2. Compare the two stories 'The Signalman' by Charles Dickens and 'Lamb to the Slaughter' ...

    Roald Dahl was born in 1916 and died in 1990, Roald Dahl was most famous for writing children stories but he did also write some books for adults like the tales of the unexpected which lamb to the slaughter featured in.

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