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

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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