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In this essay I will attempt to find the comparison between the Speckled Band and the Landlady but before I examine the stories I will briefly outline the content contained within each piece.

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Introduction

Comparative Writing In this essay I will attempt to find the comparison between the Speckled Band and the Landlady but before I examine the stories I will briefly outline the content contained within each piece. The Speckled Band was written in the 1880's by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and it was set in a flat in Baker Street in London and the main characters in the story are Helen, Sherlock Holmes, Dr Watson and Dr Roylotte. The Landlady was written in the 1960's by Roald Dahl. The story is set in Bath in England. The Main characters in the story are the Landlady and Billy Weaver Helen comes to see Sherlock Holmes to explain to him, about her sister's anonymous death just before she was to get married and about her stepfather's reaction to her sister's marriage. No one knew how she died or what caused her death or that her father is starting to behave weirdly now that Helen herself is getting married. ...read more.

Middle

She said "please come in" and she said a room would cost five and six pence a night. Billy thought it was so cheap that he couldn't say no to it. He thought it was strange when he went to take his coat off because there were no other coats or umbrellas evident Billy thought the Landlady was out of the ordinary but he didn't really care because the room was very cheap. He goes down to sign the book and he notices that there are only two names and feels that he has heard the names before but does not remember when or where. Again Dahl, like Doyle before him has engaged the readers' attention through the use of creating a sense of mystery. This encouraged me to read on in order to learn what is to follow. Both of the stories maintain suspicion until the end. The murders in each are similar in some ways but different in others because Dr Roylotte uses an animal to murder his daughter but the landlady uses poison instead. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Landlady begins without giving any clues about the ending and the plot gradually reveals as it progresses. In both stories some clues are given as to how the story will end. In The Speckled Band it says that there are gypsies that live near by so it could have been one of them. In The Landlady, when Billy signs the register he notices two names, 'Christopher Mullholland' and 'Gregory W. Temple' and he can remember their names because he thinks he's heard them before. So both stories have important points which signal that intrigue is to follow. The stories use their titles differently. Doyle disguises the conclusion by hinting at the gypsies as ultimate culprits when, in fact, the stepfather commits the crime by using a snake as a weapon. Dahl, on the other hand, suggests that the landlady will be the guilty one but we never actually have this confirmed. Both stories include dialogue which increases immediately but the movement in The Speckled Band accelerates towards the end which heralds the readers de-mystification. In The Landlady the pace remains consistent throughout and we are left suspended at the close. V G 1 ...read more.

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