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This essay is comparing "Speckled Band" by "Conan Doyle" to "Lamb to the Slaughter" by Roald Dahl.

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Introduction

This essay is comparing "Speckled Band" by "Conan Doyle" to "Lamb to the Slaughter" by Roald Dahl. The Speckled band was written in 1883 by Conan Doyle, we know this because Dr Watson tells us that: "It was early in April, in the year '83." We know that this does not mean 1983 because the author was dead by this time. Another reason that I know that Speckled Band was written in 1883 was by the old English language that is spoken in the story. Here are some of the words that we don't use today that can be found in speckled band. "I pray you to tell me." This was said when Sherlock wanted to know what was wrong with Helen Stoner. Holmes also uses the word "Alas" at the beginning of this story. I believe that Lamb to the slaughter was written around the 1950's because Mrs Maloney was talking about the death penalty, which was still out at about this time. "What were the laws about murderers with unborn children? Did they kill them both - mother and child? Or did they wait until the tenth month? What did they do?" Mrs Maloney also walked down to the local grocers shop, which not many people do these days because there aren't many of them any more, and supermarkets are a lot more popular. ...read more.

Middle

In Speckled band there is Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson who are both well know in some of the best mystery stories ever written. Holmes is a very clever, intelligent and detective and Dr Watson, Holmes's working partner is very trustworthy, loyal and responsible for his actions to Sherlock Holmes. Helen Stoner is very caring, sensitive and modest but at the beginning of the story was terrified and anxious. Dr Grimesby Roylott owns Stoke Moran; he is very greedy and ravenous, as he wants to kill his daughters because of what they can claim for an income. In Lamb to the slaughter there is Mary Maloney who at the beginning is very high-spirited, exhilarated and excited for Mr Maloney to return home but later on in the story her mood completely changes into bloodthirsty, vicious and un-balanced. "She stepped back a pace, waiting, and the funny thing was that he remained standing there for at least four or five seconds, gently swaying." This shows that she had found the murder amusing as it explains in this quote; this obviously has to mean she was relieved he was dead Sam Maloney is in the police force and he comes across as a very selfish person because he doesn't speak to his wife much and he doesn't like being fused "Darling shall I get your slippers?" ...read more.

Conclusion

Jack Noonan told Mrs Maloney: " It's the old story. Get the Weapon, and you've got the man." Here is a conversation that occurred while the police officers were eating the leg of lamb, the murder weapon: "Personally, I think it is right here on the premises." "Probably right under our noses. What you think, Jack?" As this conversation was taking place Mrs Maloney was in the other room giggling and then the story ends. I think this is a great twist in the story and I liked the way that it was finished. It different style of ending than the ending of Speckled band because Lamb to the slaughter ends in a comedy way. I enjoyed lamb to the slaughter the most because it was more of a simple and quick murder story. I preferred the twist more at the end and I thought it was good that you didn't know if Mrs Maloney would get caught for committing the murder. Lamb to the slaughter was a more believable crime and I thought it had a very good ending to a brilliant story. I found that Speckled Band was over enthusiastic on how the snake reached the daughters bedroom and killed her. Another reason why I didn't enjoy Speckled Band as much was because of the old English language, at some parts of the story you don't understand what the people are saying. Jonathan Staley 11JFP English - Sept 02 ...read more.

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