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

'The Speckled Band' or 'Lamb to the Slaughter' - Which is the More Effective Crime Story?

Extracts from this document...


'The Speckled Band' or 'Lamb to the Slaughter'-Which is the More Effective Crime Story? The 'ingredients' of a crime story usually consist of a murderer, a villain, a victim, a weapon, a witness/alibi and clues. I will be looking at each story's characteristics. 'The Speckled Band' and 'Lamb to the Slaughter' are both crime stories but they are of different types. A 'whodunit' crime story is where a crime is committed and we along with the detectives try to solve who did it, why they did it, and how they did it. 'The Speckled Band is a 'whodunit' crime story. The adventures of Sherlock Holmes were highly popular in 1883 because Conan Doyle was the original crime writer. Sherlock Holmes was the first hero detective. He was of upper class, well educated and wealthy. The amazing mysteries with bizarre crime and complicated plots were always solved and explained by Sherlock Holmes. 'Lamb to the Slaughter', written in 1945 by Roald Dahl, is a 'murder mystery'. This type of story is where we know who committed the crime, how they committed the crime and why the crime but watch the detectives try to solve it and the murderer try to get away with it. In 'The Speckled Band', a 'distraught' woman whose twin sister dies a horrible death (two weeks before her wedding day), which is haunting her, so she approaches Sherlock Holmes for help. He visits their estate to solve the mystery. In 'Lamb to the Slaughter', Mary Maloney, a 'calm' and 'keen' housewife kills her husband unexpectedly, with a frozen leg of lamb, ...read more.


She carefully plans out, just as he carefully planned the murder of Julia. Dr Grimesby Roylott and Patrick Maloney are quite similar victims because they start of as villains and end up being killed. Mary, on the other hand starts of as a victim but then turns into a villain, but we don't really hate her, because she is a nice person. We feel sorry for Julia because she is murdered before her wedding day, and our feelings are similar towards Helen too because she doesn't know what to do and seeks help, unlike Mary. The women are different in both stories; possibly because both stories were written in different times. As 'Lamb to the Slaughter' was written about a century after 'The Speckled Band', the role of women in society had obviously changed. Mary Maloney is more cunning and bright and devious while Helen is reliant, weak, and dominated. '(Mary) certainly wasn't going to take a chance.' 'That's the way, she told herself. Do everything right and natural...'(Lamb to the Slaughter) ''It is not cold which makes me shiver...it is fear, Mr. Holmes. It is terror'' ''Oh, sir do you not think that you could help me too, and at least throw a little light, through the dense darkness that still surrounds me...I shall be married, with the control of my income...'(The Speckled Band) Sherlock Holmes and Detective Jack Noonan aren't similar at all because Detective Jack Noonan doesn't turn change roles but Sherlock turns from detective to villain. ...read more.


When Mary goes to get the leg of lamb out of the freezer, she held it in the most peculiar way. 'She carried it upstairs, holding the thin bone-end of it with both her hands.' The leg of lamb can't be that heavy. This makes us think that she's up to something. There is a contrast in both endings of the story. 'Lamb to the Slaughter' leaves you thinking about what's going to happen next. Will she get caught, or will she get away? 'The Speckled Band' didn't leave us wondering. A comparison would be that neither character showed remorse. 'And in the other room, Mary Maloney began to giggle.' (Lamb to the Slaughter) ''In this way, I am no doubt indirectly responsible for Dr Grimesby Roylott's death and I cannot say that it is likely to weigh heavily upon my conscience.'' concludes Sherlock Holmes after killing Dr Grimesby Roylott. I think that both characters think that both the murdered characters deserved to die. Both writers promote that it is fine to kill. The writers position us to side with the villains. Dr Grimesby Roylott deserved it and so did Patrick. We actually want the murderers to get away with it. 'The Speckled Band' is typical to its genre because it is spooky and dark while 'Lamb to the Slaughter isn't typical to its genre because it is a nice clean and calm house that the murder takes place in. I think that both stories have different types of effects that make it hard to choose which is the better crime story. Conan Doyle wrote the first ever, detective crime story whereas Roald Dahl wrote the first subverted crime story. ...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 Arthur Conan Doyle 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 Arthur Conan Doyle essays

  1. Compare and contrast 'The Speckled Band' and Lamb to the Slaughter'

    cool is when he is approaching the Stoke Moran place and sees the baboon. Although he knows the Dr Roylott keeps a cheetah he doesn't become scared and he carries on as normal. Holmes is also not as weak as you think he is because when Dr Roylatt comes to

  2. Coursework-The Speckled Band How does Conan Doyle present Dr. Grimesby Roylott as a typical ...

    There was then a huge squeal at which point Helen rushed into Julia's bedroom. She found her dead on the floor with her face contorted with anguish and terror. Holmes and Watson asked Helen if they could visit Stoke Moron, the house where Julia died.

  1. Compare and contrast 'Lamb to the Slaughter' and 'The Speckled Band' as examples of ...

    From 1882 to 1890 he practised medicine in Southsea where he met and married Louise Hawkins, his first wife. He began to send short stories to magazine editors and he found his success in his first published story 'The Mystery of Sasassa Valley' (1879)

  2. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

    This provides concrete evidence of Conan Doyle's ability to describe a setting that is interesting for the reader. Furthermore Conan Doyle used various language devices in order to describe an interesting setting for the reader in his "Adventure of the red headed league," when Jabez Wilson arrived at the location

  1. The Speckled Band and Lamb to the Slaughter comparison

    He also uses the word 'pray' often, which means please, showing that he has good manners in general. However, Jack Noonan from 'Lamb to the slaughter' doesn't seem to be quite so caring and polite, when dealing with Mary Maloney (his client).

  2. Discuss the two Sherlock Holmes stories and say which you think is the more ...

    The letter tells us how a beautiful Peruvian woman of "alien religion" has married a man who already has a disabled child from a previous marriage; they too now have a child. However, the family appears to be far from normal, as the woman has been caught assaulting her husband's child on two occasions.

  1. A comparison of The Speckled band by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle & Lamb to ...

    the people he treats at the hospital where he works this therefore makes this detective story very unconventional and is not like Sherlock Holmes in that respect. The detective story "The Speckled band" is conventional as the settings are normal for a murder story if you take in to account

  2. How are Heroes and Villains Presented in The adventures of Sherlock Holmes(TM)?

    However none the less he covers his motive well enough to still appear quite friendly. However he changes quite drastically later on in the story. When he becomes annoyed he is a completely different person going from 'smiling in the most pleasant fashion until his eyes were just to shining

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