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Lamb To The Slaughter & The Signalman

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English Coursework - Comparing Two Texts Lamb To The Slaughter & The Signalman In this piece of work I will be looking at two stories. One from the 19th century and one from the 20th century. I will compare these stories and examine the similarities and differences concerning content, style and language. I will also include some of the possible influences of the two different writers, Roald Dahl and Charles Dickens. During the beginning of the story, Dahl creates a warm and friendly atmosphere with his language as though nothing is wrong," tranquil" "placid" "warm and clean", wheras Dickens' language creates a more frightening atmosphere as though something sinister is going to happen, "dungeon" "deadly" "jagged". At the beginning of the story you can tell something is going to happen in both stories because with Dickens there is the language used to show that it is obvious that something out of the ordinary is happening but with Dahl it is not so obvious. ...read more.


The style of the stories is also different. Dahl uses short, blunt sentences with short undescriptive words, "and he told her", but Dickens uses long winding sentences with long archaic words with a lot of description, "precipitous", "saturnine". Dahl has written in the third person "he said", "she said" and Dickens has written in the first person "said I". Dahl has used a lot of direct speech to make up the story wheras Dickens has hardly used any at all. Because of the different times that the two writers come from they have used different language. Dickens has to use lost of long descriptive words because people in 1866 were first seeing advanced technology and didn't often know what a signal box looked like or the inside of a railway tunnel so he had to write in that style. Dahl has written this story in a more modern era where people know what a suburban living room looks like because of the powers of television and cinema and other technological advances. ...read more.


Then at the end she is portrayed as some sort of psychotic desperate woman because we assume that her husband is leaving. Dickens story is very supernatural and frightening but Dahl`s is more of a mentally frightening story. Dickens has a purpose, to put people off trains, Dahl has no purpose. Both of the stories involve a violent death in some way. The Death in Dickens' story is expected because of the atmosphere created but the death in Dahls' story is very unexpected. " "Don't make supper for me, I'm going out." At that point, Mary Maloney simply walked up behind him and without any pause she swung the big frozen leg of lamb high in the air and brought it down as hard as she could on the back of his head. " To summarise. The authors have to form their stories around their audience. They are the same kind of story but because of the time are very different. I enjoyed both but enjoyed Roald Dahls story more because it is more of a psychological story. ...read more.

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