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

What are the similarities and differences between 'A Speckled Band' and 'Lamb to the Slaughter'? What effects did the writer use to make you want to read more?

Extracts from this document...


A Speckled Band and Lamb to the Slaughter (Wider reading) What are the similarities and differences between 'A Speckled Band' and 'Lamb to the Slaughter'? What effects did the writer use to make you want to read more? In this essay, I will compare the similarities and differences between two short stories, 'A Speckled Band' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and 'Lamb to the Slaughter' by Roald Dahl. Both stories are about murder and mystery. There are many comparisons that can be made between the stories, these include; the detective figures, the murderers, the victims, the settings, the language and the suspense. 'The Speckled Band' which is set in the 19th century is about a young woman, Helen Stoner, who comes to Sherlock Holmes because of her older sister, of whom was soon to be married, died under mysterious circumstances. Shortly before her sister died, several years before, she mentioned to Helen the smell of cigar smoke, a whistle and a metallic sound. At the time when Helen has come to see Sherlock Holmes, she is about to marry and has heard the same sounds herself. Both sisters lived in the large, run-down mansion of their stepfather, Dr Grimesby Roylott, a man with a violent temper and who is emotionally unstable. He lives in the mansion with a baboon and cheetah. 'Lamb to the Slaughter' which is set in the 20th century is about Mrs Mary Maloney, who kills her husband with a leg of lamb, as he is leaving her but the reason why Patrick Maloney is leaving her is unknown. ...read more.


Also, if the murderer had brought the weapon into the house, would 'he' have left it anywhere near the scene of the crime. Why didn't anyone notice a man or woman enter the Maloney house carrying a large object? Jack Noonan was very kind and sympathetic to Mary Maloney. This is acceptable but he should have overlooked the possibility that Mary Maloney could have been the killer too. A woman easily convinces Noonan. He let her persuade him to have a glass of whisky. To convince Noonan of her grief, 'she looked at him with her large, dark, tearful eyes'. She also talked Noonan into eating the leg of lamb as her deceased husband would, '...never forgive me, God bless his soul, if I allowed you to remain in this house without offering decent hospitality. Why don't u eat up the lamb that's in the oven...' this was the murder weapon. In 'The Speckled Band', the murderer is Dr Grimesby Roylott. He is the stepfather of Helen and Julia Stoner. We are given the impression that Roylott is a murderer from Watson's description of him. Watson also describes Roylott as a 'huge man', with a large face 'marked with every evil passion'. He has 'deep set, bile shot eyes, and the high thin fleshless nose, gave him somewhat the resemblance to a fierce old bird of prey.' Helen Stoner had also told Homes that Roylott had a long-term imprisonment in India as he had beaten his native butler to death due to some thefts that had taken place. ...read more.


'The Speckled Band' was set in both London and leatherhead. The main events of the story were set in a two hundred year old mansion called Stoke Moran. Stoke Moran is the kind of setting you would expect a murder mystery to take place, if u read Watson's account of the mansion. Watson described the wings of the house as, 'like the claws of a crab'. He observes that in one wing, 'the windows were broken, and blocked with wooden boards, while the roof was partly caved in, a picture of a ruin', giving the reader a mental picture of the house as large, old, damp and dark. The setting for 'Lamb the slaughter' is the opposite of Stoke Moran. It is not the conventional type of setting for a murder mystery to take place. The setting is warm 1950's home, which belongs to Mr and Mrs Maloney. Dahl begins the story with a short account of the Maloney residence. 'The room was warm and clean, the curtains drawn, the two table lamps alight-hers and the one by the empty chair opposite'. The image the reader is given of the house is that it is small, cosy, warm and bright. The description of the Maloney residence is not the typical setting for a murder mystery. It is nothing like the portrayal of the Stoke Moran. The approach Dahl uses, makes the reader feel a false sense of security, making you unaware of what is going to happen. Dahl's intention is that the reader is shocked when the murder of Patrick Maloney happens. Coursework - 1 - ...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. Both Lamb to the slaughter and the Speckled Band share some characteristics of murder ...

    To be this obsessed by a man, a woman is not normally in her right mind. Perhaps this is a reason why she killed him. Dahl could be showing the idea of believing if she can't have him then nobody can.

  2. Explain the main similarities and differences between the two murder mystery stories "Lamb to ...

    As they eat the lamb, Mary seems slightly unhinged as she sadistically giggles at what she has made them do.

  1. Both 'Lamb to the Slaughter' and 'The Speckled Band' share some of the characteristics ...

    Speckled band is a few more pages long and can also be called a short story. In Lamb to the Slaughter the reader does not have any clues to solve themselves, as it is a straight forward story. Speckled Band does have some clues, and are solved by Sherlock, 'Well

  2. 'Lamb to the Slaughter' and 'The Speckled Band' are both murder mysteries. They have ...

    the wife would've been more of a suspect than a victim as people killing their wife or husband occurs more often than previously and also women kill more often than when this story was set. Sherlock Holmes suspects Doctor Roylott in 'The Speckled Band', treats the investigation as a top

  1. Both "Lamb to the slaughter" and "The Speckled Band" shares some of the characteristics ...

    But, from family history and his past, we learn that he is somewhat of an extremist and will carry out murder in order to get what he wants. As with the murderers and victims, the detectives in both stories are portrayed in different ways.

  2. Both "Lamb to the Slaughter" and "The Speckled Band" share some characteristics of murder ...

    Mrs Maloney can sense that something is wrong and tries to force her husband to do things so his mind is on something else. She is desperate by saying "you must". Mr Maloney tells her to "sit down" and she "began to get frightened".

  1. Compare and contrast the way the writer's depict relationships between men and women in ...

    relationships between men and women by using certain language of nature to convey this effect. The language in Catbird Seat is lawful and uses technical vocabulary, characteristic- fantasy and powerful. Animal imagery is pictured. But the writer concentrates on Mrs Barrows to make her be lively, the brash at her

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

    She seems either totally in control of the situation and trying to cover it up, or in shock or denial. Personally, I think she is a bit of both at this point in the story. Throughout the police investigation, she acts totally innocent, unlike Dr Roylott.

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