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"Lamb to the Slaughter" and "The Speckled Band" shares some of the characteristics of murder mysteries. Explain the similarities and differences between the two stories and say which story you think is more compelling to read.

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Claire Forde English Coursework "Lamb to the Slaughter" and "The Speckled Band" shares some of the characteristics of murder mysteries. Explain the similarities and differences between the two stories and say which story you think is more compelling to read. Lamb to the Slaughter was written by Roald Dahl in 1954, it is about a lady called Mary Maloney, she is a devoted wife and expectant mother. She waits happily each night for her husband Patrick, who works at the police station to come home. On this night Patrick tells her something that she doesn't like and goes into a world of her own and went to make their tea. She pulls a frozen leg of lamb out of the freezer and hits her husband over the head. As she looks at Patrick lying dead on the floor, she slowly comes back to her senses. Immediately she realizes what she has done. Not wanting her unborn child to suffer as a result of her crime, she begins planning her alibi. She places the leg of lamb in a pan in the oven and goes down to the grocery shop to get some food for "Patrick's dinner" (making sure the grocer see her in a normal state of mind), then returns home and screams when she see Patrick's dead body lying on the floor. ...read more.


and because she does not want to lose her husband but sometimes she might try to hard on the other hand Dr Roylott keeps control because he is the oldest and the head of the house, in that story. It is not surprising to see a female villain in "Lamb to the Slaughter" it is a sign of the times that women do kill people and it is not just men. If it had happened in Conan Doyle's story the audience may have reacted different because of the changing of the times. In "Lamb to the Slaughter" there is a lot of irony in the other story there is hardly any this could be the two different messages that each of the stories is trying to put across. Mary Maloney is successful at her murder because she thinks quickly and makes a convincing and successful alibi. On the contrary Dr Roylott was found out and was not successful. Dr Roylott is a stereotypical villain because he has a nasty temper and is horrible to all the other characters all the way through the story. Compared to Dr Roylott, Mary is the more believable villain, and they are not similar at all. The detective or detectives in the "Speckled Band" are Sherlock Homes and Dr Watson and in "Lamb to the Slaughter" it is Jack Noonan the head of police. ...read more.


"Lamb to the Slaughter" is a good title for the story because it is a lamb that does kill and another word for kill could be slaughter. This can be intriguing for the audience, as the story has developed. I think "Lamb to the Slaughter is more appealing because it is interesting how Mary covers up the murder of her husband Patrick, "The Speckled Band" is interesting but does not have what I like in a crime mystery it was also to long, I think for a short story. In "Lamb to the Slaughter" the writing was easier to understand and it was set at a later time. I did marvel at how the modern murderess attempted to outwit the police in Roald Dahl's story. To conclude I think that the main difference in the stories are that they are both set in completely different times, and that they are two completely different stories one where the villain is found out and the other where she isn't, because of the different era's that both stories are set in it is hard to compare, and this shown where the police are involved, in the "Speckled Band" it is Sherlock Holmes who is so smart and never fails, where as in the "Lamb to the Slaughter" story the police seem to be portrayed as a bit thick as they eat the murder weapon. ...read more.

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