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Short Storys

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Comparison of 'The Speckled Band' and 'Lamb to the Slaughter' In this essay I will be comparing the two stories 'The Speckled Band' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and 'Lamb to the Slaughter' by Roald Dahl. 'The Speckled Band' was written in 1892.This was in The Victorian Period when people had very little faith in the Police and Conan Doyle needed to create a Detective who always got everything right so that the public started to believe the Police could actually get it right. It was first published in a magazine called "The Strand" in weekly episodes so to a certain extent he needed to keep his readers interested as well which is why the plot is so complicated. The plot is about a woman called Helen Stoner who is going to get married, but someone or something murders her sister who also was supposed to get married. Helen Stoner goes to see Sherlock Holmes to see if he can help solve the crime. The plot is full of twists and red herrings that is up to the reader to try and solve as they go along but as always Sherlock Holmes works out the significance of everything and solves the crime. 'Lamb to the Slaughter' was written in 1954by Roald Dahl. This story was also published in a magazine called "Harpers" but was written to be read in one go so it does not have the complicated layout of Conan Doyles story. ...read more.


When there was an enquiry in 1892 the detectives would have had to use their own knowledge to solve crimes but in 1954 they would use fingerprints, evidence etc to solve the crimes. The language used in 'The Speckled Band' was old fashioned and very formal like when Sherlock Holmes says "Very sorry to knock you up Watson, " said he, "but it's the common lot this morning." He also says things like "Mrs Hudson has been knocked up, she reported upon me, and I on you." This isn't the kind of language we would use in the modern day and proves that it is set in 1892. However in 'Lamb to the Slaughter' there was a lot of slang and it was not as formal. Like when Mary says "Hullo darling." And " Hullo Sam" to the grocer. However the way she speaks to Sam the grocer proves it was set in the 1950's and not in any other time because we would not know the person in the corner shops first name today but it was common in the 1950's to be friendly with them. In 'The Speckled Band' Sherlock Holmes is the main character. He is a famous detective and solves difficult cases. Conan Doyle invented him because people in the Victorian times were fed with the fact that the police could not solve any crimes and he wanted a character that always got everything right. ...read more.


In 'Lamb to the Slaughter' you don't feel sorry for Patrick because he is being horrible to Mary and you feel automatically on her side from the beginning. I think he deserved to be upset but not killed because they are just having a falling out. 'The Speckled Band' is set in Stoke Moran, which is Helen's stepfather house. Sherlock Holmes is investigating the house. I think it is a good setting for a murder to take place and because it's a very big house which makes it creepier for the reader because you don't know what is doing the killings. 'Lamb to the Slaughter' is set in Mary Maloney's house. I think the way the author has described it makes it sound very realistic, like when he says, "The room was warm and clean, the curtains drawn, the two table lamps alight." This makes the room sound cosy and like it really exists. You can really picture the scenery. I also think it's a good setting for a murder because you can imagine it happening there. I think I would expect it because so many crimes in real life have been taken place in houses. Out of the two stories I preferred 'Lamb to the Slaughter' because it is easier to understand and keeps you interested all the way though with the description it uses. I disliked the other story because the speaking parts dragged on to long and I did really just want to get on and find out what happens. Sam Curtin-Sewell ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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