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

In this essay I intend to compare and contrast 'Lamb to the Slaughter' by Roald Dahl written in 1950 and 'The Speckled Band' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle written in 1883.

Extracts from this document...


Compare and Contrast 'Lamb to the Slaughter' and 'The Speckled Band' Introduction In this essay I intend to compare and contrast 'Lamb to the Slaughter' by Roald Dahl written in 1950 and 'The Speckled Band' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle written in 1883. I am going to look closely at how each story is or is not a classic example of the detective genre. I am going to compare the main characters, the detectives, the criminals, and the victims. I am also going to compare the plot, the setting, the cultural and social context, the language and the theme, picking out techniques used which make it exactly, or exactly the opposite of a typical detective story/murder mystery. In The Speckled Band the detective is Sherlock Holmes. He uses logic and intelligence; "Rapid Deductions...Swift Intuitions...always founded on logical basis". He is eccentric. He is a private citizen. He has a sidekick: Dr Watson. "He has private money". He has worked for the love of his art. He has mental powers, whereas in Lamb to the Slaughter, the detectives are officials. They are not so bright. They eat the evidence. They are paid. They are manpower opposed to mental power. ...read more.


They are both upper-class people, they have private money. She is a prisoner in her own home and she is weak and independent. In Lamb to the Slaughter we know who the murderer is at the beginning of the story whereas we have to wait till the end in The Speckled Band for Sherlock Holmes to find out that Dr. Roylott was responsible. In Lamb to the Slaughter the mystery is never solved, the murderer gets the better of the detectives. The narrative climax comes at the beginning of Lamb to the Slaughter unlike in The Speckled Band, where it happens in the end. There is an added suspense in Lamb to the Slaughter - leading up to persuading the detectives to eat the evidence. The reader follows Mary Maloney carefully constructing an alibi. In The Speckled Band we follow Sherlock Holmes putting the clues together. The writing in Lamb to the Slaughter is very sparse with little detailed description. The reader has to create the picture for himself, whereas Conan Doyle offers a lot more detailed descriptions of rooms, clothes, people and facial expressions. Lamb to the Slaughter is set in 1950s. Set in a small suburban house that is part of a local community. ...read more.


In Lamb to the Slaughter the underlying message is that crime does not pay whereas in The Speckled Band crime does pay. In Lamb to the Slaughter the criminal is not necessarily evil, it is a crime of passion; she loses control of her emotions. She loses control of herself. She is not responsible of her crime, whereas Dr. Roylott's murder is premeditated. He plans it very carefully e.g. he gets builders to make a hole in Helen Stoner's room so she moves to her sisters room where the bed is nailed to the floor near a ventilator so the snake he uses can drop on the bed and bite the victim when they are asleep. The main ingredient of a detective story is that the villain is caught and justice is achieved. This happens in 'The Speckled Band', with the poetic justice of Dr Roylott's death, but in 'Lamb to the Slaughter' it doesn't, and the villain gets off "scot-free". Even if they had found her out, they wouldn't have any evidence. The main ingredient is missing in 'Lamb to the Slaughter', but even so, that doesn't make the story any worse. In writing this essay I have learned that these two are very different from each other for many reasons, the first being that because they were written in two different centuries. 1 Syed Islam, 11Q, 3819 - Ms. Horne ...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 ...

    chemical such as cyanide, by referring to its smell as "corridors of a hospital". The reader can see that there is something wrong with tea, but feels saddened for Billy's inability to recognise the danger. It is Billy's inability throughout the story to spot something peculiar, which makes the reader sympathise with Billy.

  2. In this wide-reading piece I will compare two murder mystery stories: 'The Speckled Band' ...

    Mary seems to be the more complex murderer as we see much more than what first meets the eye. We first see an innocent young woman in her sixth month with child, quietly sewing and waiting for her husband, and then we see a cold blooded murderer doing all she

  1. Comparison of 'The Speckled Band' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and 'Lamb to the ...

    In 'Lamb to the slaughter', Mary Maloney outsmarts the police. The detectives try to find the weapon, which is in the oven being cooked. However, the police don't know this. The fingerprints are removed from the leg of lamb, when it is cooked.

  2. The Study And Comparison of Two Short Stories Of The Murder Mystery Genre - ...

    By this time it had occurred to me that Mrs Maloney is your typical housewife and the way she manipulates the detectives is similar to the way Dahl manipulates us into believing she is just a normal pregnant woman. The thing that made me feel Mary Maloney is evil, not

  1. comparison of 'lamb of the slaughter' and 'the speckled band'

    `The Speckled Band` is written in the first person (Watson), this is effective as all the questions we are wondering are answered for us. This is very important as Sherlock Holmes brain does not work the same as an average person's would therefore it would be hard for us to follow.


    Another part of the story, which is superior, is the part when she kills him with the frozen leg of lamb. At that point Mary Maloney simply walked up behind him and without any pause she swung the leg of lamb high in the air and brought it down as hard as she could on the back of his head.

  1. Lamb to the Slaughter and The Speckled Band essay

    is reflecting back on his career as a private detective, which makes you think he will bring up memories of a past case. This is different to Dahl's story, which begins by describing a family household where the female sees herself as inferior to her husband.

  2. 'Lamb to the Slaughter' and 'The Speckled Band' Comparative Essay

    Furthermore, we are informed about the violent way he treats his daughter, Helen Stoner. We know this because one of the first things that Dr Holmes notices is "...five vivid little spots, the marks of 4 fingers and a thumb, were printed upon the white wrist..."

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