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Lamb to the Slaughter vs Speckled Band

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Introduction

Compare how Dahl and Doyle subvert the conventions of the murder mystery genre to create suspense. The murder mystery genre was first recognised as a major genre during the 19th century. Pioneers of this genre include the Norwegian writer Mauritz Hansen as his novel "The murder of machine operator Rolfsen", published in 1839 is considered to be the earliest known novel of this genre. Another pioneer of the genre includes Edgar Allan Poe. Many of the conventions associated with the murder mystery genre prior to Doyle arriving onto the murder mystery scene, would have been invented by Hansen and Poe and would have influenced Doyle in his stories (It's fairly well known that Doyle was a very keen reader of Poe's works). However, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, unlike Hansen or Poe, is believed to have popularised the genre with his Sherlock Holmes stories. There are various conventions associated with the genre. The most well known conventions of this genre include: a typically vulnerable female victim, the use of a sinister weapon for the murder, dark and horrific setting(s) for the scene of the crime(s). Other conventions of this genre include the motives behind the murder(s) generally being of vengeance, jealousy or financial gain. Yet another convention is the method used to kill the victim: poison, strangulation, stabbing, gunshot. ...read more.

Middle

by his name, instead of calling him Sergeant. Also worth noting is the fact that the investigators (detectives) know the murderer and the victim. Yet another convention that gets broken is the fact that all the policeman are extremely kind towards Mary Maloney and after arriving on the scene, rule out her involvement in the murder completely, not something a dedicated but emotionless detective would do. They are also later found to be negligent when it came to their work guidelines i.e. consuming alcoholic drinks. Peculiarly the police officer's don't bother asking her to go vacate the house to some other place instead to search the property. They also failed to decline Mary Maloney's request of eating up the lamb. Whilst "eating" the lamb as requested my Mary Maloney, the four policemen (within the house) discuss amongst themselves of the different possibilities of the type of weapon used and its possible whereabouts. One of the policemen concedes that it's on the premises itself and ironically "probably right under our very noses" whilst Mary Maloney starts giggling in the other room. Like Lamb to the Slaughter, The Adventure of the Speckled Band subverts the conventions of the genre from the very beginning itself, the title. When one hears the "Adventure of the Speckled Band" they're most likely to be intrigued and quite keen to read the story. ...read more.

Conclusion

After Miss Stoner had left Holmes' office, the tension turns down whilst Holmes and Watson discuss the different possibilities, until suddenly, the door was dashed open by Dr. Grimesby Roylott. A war of words erupts between Holmes and Roylott. However Holmes is hesitant to involve himself in a verbal confrontation thus decides to shrug off any comments made by Dr. Roylott with humour. After sometime the most anticipated and tense part of the story begins when Holmes and Watson enter Stoke Moran through Late Julia Stoners' bedroom. The tension dies down when the readers discover that there were no whistling noises of any sort for at least 3 hours after midnight, until suddenly Watson hears the whistle, which he describes to be a gentle, soothing sound. Tensions suddenly shoot up as Watson states that Holmes used his cane to lash savagely at the bell pull. A short hiatus in tension occurs amidst all the tensions when suddenly both Holmes and Watson hear an immensely loud shriek. Holmes is quoted to have said "...It's all over". Tension is finally built up when Holmes and Watson make their way to Dr. Roylott's bedroom with Watson carrying an Eley's No.2. They are shocked to see the two perpetrators of the murder, one alive, one dead. Here also Doyle breaks the conventions as the murderer dies by his own weapon. ?? ?? ?? ?? C Varghese Page 1 of 5 ...read more.

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