• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Detective Genre

Extracts from this document...


The Detective Genre When many people think of a novel from the detective genre, they think of a dark and stormy night, a large sinister house, gunfire heard by everyone however seen by no one, and the expression "you're probably wondering why I called you all here", "The butler did it", and the phrase associated with Sherlock Holmes "elementary, my dear Watson". In the end, the intellectual and ever vigilant detective solves the case, and justice, occasionally through the magistrates is served. Both "The Adventure of the Speckled Band" and "Lamb to the Slaughter" has factors that are frequently used in detective genre, for example, they both include a killer who is cold and cunning, and perhaps a little angry. On the other hand, they are shown to us extremely differently, showing one story which is very distinctive of its genre and the other which is very untypical of the detective genre. That is why I have chosen these two contrasting stories as the basis for my essay. In this paper I have decided to examine the comparisons of the setting, characters, weapons, victims and plot from the 'The Adventure of the Speckled Band' by the author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and 'Lamb to the Slaughter' by the renowned child author Roald Dahl. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's novel 'The Adventure of the Speckled Band' is based upon the famous fictional Detective 'Sherlock Holmes' and his investigation into the murder of Julia Stoner of Stoke Moran. ...read more.


While many other stories focus on the investigator or sometimes the victim, this story centres on the nature of the murderer. This perspective assists with the telling of the murder, making it more unanticipated. The story comprises of two main plot twists; the first being the murder itself, made it unpredicted by what we have perceived of Mary Maloney's character, the setting, and the form the murder weapon. The second plot twist is as the story concludes, where the officers devour the murder weapon. Conan-Doyle uses a method in writing "The Adventure of the Speckled Band" as well. His story centres on the character of the detective, Sherlock Holmes, which is a favoured method of murder mystery authors, possibly because it leaves a place for development. This story, though centred on Holmes, is told as seen through the perspective of his colleague, Dr Watson, providing an excellent example of writing in the first person scenario. Unlike Dahl's story, "The Adventure of the Speckled Band" is a classic 'whodunit', and so, like many 'whodunits' there is always an element of suspense. The weapons used in both these stories are rather unique to the genre. Roylott's snake was used to poison his victims with its venomous bite; this was is purpose when its master sent it through the ventilator to kill his step-children. This cunning plan was constructed in an attempt to avoid losing his money over his stepdaughter's marriage. ...read more.


Harsh punishments were placed upon convicted murders in Victorians times, including there own deaths. The 'Lamb to the Slaughter' is set in the 1970's in a more realistic setting. Patrick Maloney was murdered in his own home, after a tense discussion with his wife, which resulted in his murder. This story is much closer to reality, and relates with situations and emotions revolving round divorce and betrayal. In conclusion, I have learnt that the setting and time period constitute to the outcome of the story, and its characters morals and methods. Standards have changed, and means of punishment have altered greatly between the settings of each story. Also the process of investigation has changed through the 19th Century, having a more orderly and functional procedure, which is shown in 'Lamb to the Slaughter', instead of the mysterious conduct of unravelling clues during the plot of 'The Adventure of the Speckled Band'. Over time the audiences who read these novels has changed there principles and level of expectance, so the crime performed by Mary Maloney would be seen as a 'crime of passion' executed through the unstable emotions of a pregnant women who's grasp on reality had been shattered through her husbands cruel words. When 'The Adventure of the Speckled Band' was written during Victorian times, mystery and murder was a popular aspect in books. The Victorians were renowned for there love of literature because it was a method of escape from gruelling life in the Victorian age, this was because a reader could become completely emerged in a different reality, indulging in fantasy and anticipation. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Roald Dahl section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Roald Dahl essays

  1. "Examine How Two Different Authors have used the Detective Story Genre in Different Ways ...

    We want to be Holmes because he is admired and we all seek admiration and to be better than normal people are, we strive and endeavour to be everything Holmes is. Dr Grimesby Roylott is a traditional villain. In "Lamb to the Slaughter", Mary Maloney is a soft, dependant yet strong individual.

  2. Comparte The Adventure of Abbey Grange and Lamb to the Slaughter.

    You are intrigued as to why all this is happening, so the suspense builds until he confesses to something which we can only presume is an affair. This intrigues you into wondering what it is and encourages you to read on.

  1. Comparing 'Lamb to the Slaughter' written in the mid-twentieth century, and 'The Speckled Band' ...

    He has 'deep-set, bile shot eyes' and a 'high thin fleshless nose, (which) gave him the resemblance of a fierce bird of pray' Dr Roylott would seem to be evil from the start. Watson on looking at him remarked that his face was 'marked with every evil passion' and this

  2. Compare ‘The Adventure of The Speckled Band’ and ‘Lamb to the Slaughter’ referring to ...

    It also makes the reader feel quite sad that there are so many murders going on that they have to solve them. Watson searches through his notes until he finds the best one to set the story on. The opening does prepare the reader for what is about to come

  1. Comparing and Contrasting Three Fear Stories

    Yet at the end the young man feels the police know everything and starts to hear things, 'ringing in my ears', and finally admits to the deed. The settings in the stories are very similar it was, 'evening' (The Landlady), 'night was cold and wet' (The Monkey's Paw), 'every night, about midnight'.

  2. Comparison of “Lamb to the Slaughter” and“The Adventure of the Speckled Band”detective stories.

    It all seems very warm and cosy, and you also get the impression that Mrs Maloney is very much in love with her husband. "Now and again she would glance up at the clock, but without anxiety, merely to please herself with the thought that each minute gone by made it nearer to the time he would come."

  1. Compare and contrast the two short stories "The Speckled Band" by Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle, ...

    In "The Speckled Band, the setting of the main part of the story is very typical of the murder mystery genre. The story is set in an old forbidding house. Just the look of it could make you think twice about going inside; after all, it could collapse on you any moment, as Dr Watson described.

  2. “The Speckled Band” by Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle, and “Lamb to the Slaughter” by Roald ...

    In "The Speckled Band, the setting of the main part of the story is very typical of the murder mystery genre. The story is set in an old forbidding house. Just the look of it could make you think twice about going inside; after all, it could collapse on you any moment, as Dr Watson described.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work