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Lamb to the slaughter written by Roald Dahl and the Speckled Band a Sherlock Holmes story written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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Jennifer Waring Wider Reading Coursework In this essay I am going to compare two murder mystery stories, lamb to the slaughter written by Roald Dahl and the Speckled Band a Sherlock Holmes story written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle they have lots of similarities and a number of differences which I will explain later on in the essay I am also going to explain how and why the women where treated differently in different times and where viewed as being helpless. Mary Maloney is seen calm and tranquil "her skin had acquired a wonderful translucent quality" as she was six months pregnant. She is guilty of killing her husband Patrick Maloney. Mr and Mrs Maloney lived a predictable life which lead to many happy years until Mr Maloney tells his wife something which in turn she retaliates by killing him. ...read more.


In the story they do very different things Mary is in control and active while Helen is looking to men to sort out her problems. Mary plays the perfect wife, but she is capable of murder. Helen who is innocent looks scared and nervous almost appears guilty. We believe that Helen is innocent because she helps the detectives while Mary succeeds in fooling them. Mary is given a lot of sympathy as her husband has just been found dead we know this because she is offered to stay in the detectives house, which she refuses, Sherlock Holmes treats Helen differently even though she is innocent he takes charge of the situation and he tells her what to do and to wait for him which she does this shows that Helen didn't think for ...read more.


She seems unbalanced as she is shocked by the news her husband has just given her. She acts as though it was nothing to do with her as if she had mentally blocked it out. Helen is not that clever as she doesn't notice things which should be obvious like being followed and the bell pull. Helen also needs the help of a man to sort everything out for her. In conclusion Helen and Mary are two different people living in different times. One is guilty one is innocent. The stories were written 100 years apart and the attitudes have changed towards women, which is why they are shown differently. Mary is a cunning murder while Helen needs a man. I prefer the lamb to the slaughter because I like the way Mary got her own back on her husband and that the detectives ate the murder weapon at the end. ...read more.

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