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This essay is a comparison of two short stories 'Lamb to the Slaughter' and 'The Speckled Band' by highlighting the techniques that make it classic or not a classic crime novel.

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Introduction

Comparison of 'Lamb to the Slaughter' and 'The Speckled Band' This essay is a comparison of two short stories 'Lamb to the Slaughter' and 'The Speckled Band' by highlighting the techniques that make it classic or not a classic crime novel. A typical murder mystery consists of a very intellectual person who pieces together parts of a jigsaw to unravel the murder mystery. 'The Speckled Band' is a typical crime novel because it has a very intellectual Investigator Sherlock Holmes who is the only person who is capable of solving the mystery of who killed Julia Stoner. The house in which Sherlock is investigating is old and large which is also a typical setting for a murder novel. In the end Sherlock Holmes solves the cleverly devised mystery using all his wit. 'Lamb to the Slaughter' is not a typical crime novel because the detectives are not very smart and cannot solve the crime. The setting is an ordinary house that is seemingly cosy. The detectives are not very professional as they are all persuaded to consume alcohol while on duty. ...read more.

Middle

His wife goes from the victim of a violent and grumpy husband to the murderer. After the murder she seems pathetic but is revealed later as a cunning murderer with mass intuition. The inspectors start professional and sympathetic and later appear un-professional when they drink on duty and eat the murder weapon. In 'The Speckled Band' the characters stay the same, Dr. Roylett evil, Holmes amazingly intuitive, Watson bedazzled by Holmes' brilliance and Helen Stoner frightened. Dahl's story is also different from a typical crime novel because the readers know who the killer is from the start instead they watch the inspectors be out smarted by a detective's wife. In 'The Speckled Band' the readers do not find out until Holmes reveals the mystery at the end. In a traditional crime novel, it is based upon the person solving the crime and shows their trials and tribulations to solving the mystery. 'The Speckled Band' does this, it is focused on Sherlock Holmes and how he solves the murder. 'Lamb to the Slaughter' is focused on the murder victim's wife who is also the killer not the detective(s) ...read more.

Conclusion

Another is when Mrs Maloney first rings the police to report the murder: 'Quick! Come quick! Patrick's dead!' 'Who's speaking?' 'Mrs Maloney. Mrs Patrick Maloney.' 'You mean Patrick Maloney's dead?' The last sentence shows that they couldn't put the first three simple sentences together and realise that Patrick Maloney is actually dead. One difference between these two short stories is that the endings, Holmes solves the murder the inspectors in 'Lamb to the Slaughter' do not. In 'The Speckled Band' the snake that Dr. Roylett used as a murder weapon is enraged by Holmes hitting it with a stick that it crawls back and bites Dr. Roylett. This gives the reader a feeling of triumph as good overcame evil. In 'Lamb to the Slaughter' it ends with the inspectors eating the murder weapon and only evidence allowing Mrs Maloney to get away with the murder. One of the main constituents to the classic crime novel is that the intelligent individual solves and justice is served. Doyle delivers this while Roald Dahl does not. Therefore the main difference is that Arthur Conan Doyle's 'The Speckled Band' is typical of a classical crime story and Roald Dahl's 'Lamb to the Slaughter' is purposely the opposite. Grant Beuken ...read more.

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