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In this essay I am going to compare two short stories called 'Lamb to the Slaughter' written by Roald Dahl in 1950. The second one is called 'The adventure of the Speckled band' written by Arthur Conan Doyle in 1892.

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Introduction

"From your reading of these two stories explain how they have each used the murder mystery genre to engage the reader. Which is most effective?" In this essay I am going to compare two short stories called 'Lamb to the Slaughter' written by Roald Dahl in 1950. The second one is called 'The adventure of the Speckled band' written by Arthur Conan Doyle in 1892. Both of these stories belong to the genre of murder mystery. 'The adventure of the speckled band' is a traditional, archetypal murder mystery; it is also easier for the reader to predict the ending of the story. 'Lamb to the slaughter' is also in the genre of murder mystery, but it has been modernized, and by this Rolad Dahl has subverted the conventions. This makes 'Lamb to the Slaughter' very different. 'The adventure of the speckled band' is set in a 1880s home. It is a deserted, big mansion in the middle of the country. With a Gothic setting it is also a very large and dilapidated. "Few acres of ground, and two hundred year old house" This quote then shows that the house is very old and ancient, so this is then where we would expect a murder mystery story to be set in. ...read more.

Middle

This is because Mary managed to murder her husband who is a detective and managed to manipulate him. Yet at the beginning of the story she wasn't seen as being to cleaver but when she murdered her husband then the reader begins to see that she is. "As a wife of the detective, she knew quite well what the penalty would be. That was fine" Yet this quote shows that she is quite smart because she knew still what the consequences are for the crime that she committed. So Mary Malone is seen as a non-conventional murderer. In a conventional murder mystery the audience doesn't usually witness the crime it self. The crime taken place in 'Speckled Band' was a conventional crime. The reader did not witness the crime, but was then told about it in detail about the crime and the characters. "I could not sleep that night. A vague feeling of impending misfortune impressed me" In this quote she is beginning to tell Sherlock Holmes about the crime it self (what she recounted). She explains it in such detail that it begins to give away clues and red herrings such as the 'whistling gypsies'. The murder it self was seen as very melodramatic and Gothic "her face blanches with terror", this begins to add tension. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is also structured to be light hearted and have a comical tone. Through out the story I believe as a female reader that I sympathize. With Mary Malone more then Patrick Malone. I believe this because he didn't seem to be very considerate of her feelings. "'For God's sake' he said hearing her but not turning round, 'Don't make supper for me. I am going out'" This quote is taken straighter after he told her the news, this then shows he doesn't care about her very much. So I sympathize with Mary Malone more. From all of this I can conclude that ' The Adventure of the Speckled Band' is a traditional, archetypal murder mystery. 'Lamb to the Slaughter' is seen as a non-conventional murder mystery, which breaks the conventions of the genre. This was also to do with the period each story was written in. Such as 'The Adventure of the Speckled band' was written in Victorian times were women were seen as to be frail and weak. 'Lamb to the Slaughter' was set in the 1950's where women began to gain more power. Both of these stories also reflect the societies beliefs at the time. Yet between the two different era's as the story got more modernized it began to break the conventions of the murder mystery genre. Bintul Ahmad 11:0 Ms Fishburn English set : 11:5 ...read more.

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