• 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 the two stories? Both 'Lamb to the Slaughter' and 'The Speckled Band' are categorised as murder mysteries, but how can they be when they are both so different?

Extracts from this document...


Both 'Lamb to the Slaughter' and 'The Speckled Band' share some characteristics of murder mysteries. What are the similarities and differences between the two stories? Both 'Lamb to the Slaughter' and 'The Speckled Band' are categorised as murder mysteries, but how can they be when they are both so different? What does a story have to include to be an effective murder mystery? Does originality make a better read than tradition? If originality works better, how original can the story be? Will it still have to include a detective, a murder, a twist, clues and a mystery that's almost impossible to solve? By taking these questions into consideration, will the differences between the two stories really be significantly different? These issues are what I will be discussing within the essay. I will review the elements that are supposedly needed in a murder mystery. I will converse about the comparisons between them both, considering all similarities and differences mentioned. I will then decide which is better and give reasons towards my hypothesis. 'Lamb to the Slaughter' has a very fresh and unusual concept. The story is about a pregnant woman who murders her husband as the result of some bad news he has told her. She kills him with a blow to the back of his head using a frozen leg of lamb. She then quickly creates a convincing alibi. This alibi, along with her charms and superb acting skills, helps Mrs Maloney to fool the detectives, so much so that they even feel guilty about suspecting her. The irony of the story is that the detectives end up eating the only source of evidence, the leg of lamb. ...read more.


'I will do nothing of the kind. My stepdaughter has been here. I have traced her. What has she been saying to you?' 'It is a little cold for the time of the year' said Holmes. 'What has she been saying to you?' screamed the old man furiously' He then goes on to insult Holmes with accusing him of meddling and associating him with the official detective force. Holmes, however, finds these remarks amusing, which undoubtedly winds Dr Roylott up even more so. Dr Roylott concludes with a threat which was undeniably provoked by Holmes saying "Your conversation is most entertaining...When you go out close the door, for there is a decided draught". Before making his exit, Dr Roylott tries to frighten them both by bending a steel poker in half. He obviously doesn't succeed as Holmes then picks up the poker and straightens it out once again, admirably proving his superiority and greatness. Even before that incident we already believe him to possess a cruel nature when we are told by Miss Stoner that he beat his butler to death and how he recently assaulted a local blacksmith. Holmes also discovers evidence of Dr Roylott laying violence upon his own stepdaughter. Throughout the story Holmes is depicted as an incredibly ingenious detective. Admired, trusted and highly respected by both his clients and co-workers. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle purposely based his stories on a character like Sherlock Holmes because he knew the general public would be intrigued; seeming as the police force in the 19th century were supposedly corrupt. This gave the public someone to believe in. ...read more.


I have come to this deduction as I enjoyed following the clues which ended with a summary, the historically set, sinister building gave a riveting attraction and finally I loved Sherlock Holmes. His character was so believable and comforting it made you want to read on just to find out more about Holmes, hear his humour, witness his superb expertise. I don't think 'Lamb to the Slaughter' possessed this type of 'addiction'. The characters were not as deep or passionate; perhaps this is where improvement could have been made, although the controversy of the story may have been the author's aim. I loved the suspense of not knowing what will happen seeming as it wasn't the stereotypical murder mystery where the crime is unsolved and the detectives are seen as heroes. With this story there was an air of excitement due to the unpredictable plot, which made it highly original and interesting. The two stories in comparison are obviously exceedingly different. They are as contrasting as one murder mystery can be to another. 'The Speckled Band' is long, detailed and elaborate, while 'Lamb to the Slaughter' is shorter with a simple style. 'The Speckled Band' is told by the detective as a past event while the 'Lamb to the Slaughter' narrator is of a third person. The similarities between them both are that they both provide us with an element of suspense and an atmosphere of mystery, both have killings during the stories, and neither of the stories are boring. This essay shows how different stories from the same categories, murder mysteries for example, can be, and how ambiguous a straightforward story is. Cheri.C 1 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 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. Sherlock Holmes comparison

    Clair as being pulled back forcibly from the window when he actually jumped away from it. In 'The Adventure of the Speckled Band' some of the false clues were the gypsies; this was because they thought that gypsies are the people with the speckled band.

  2. The speckled band - summary

    She gives more information on Roylots character, and suggesting she's in even more danger. Helen tells Holmes of the change of character he underwent after her mothers death. This long description of Roylott adds to the readers' impression that he is capable of terrible things.

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

    He also wrote 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood' but he died leaving the identity of the murderer a secret. Another example would be 'The moonstone', written by Wilkie Collins, another English novelist. He created Sergeant Cuff, and showed that the genre of the detective story could be expanded to fit a novel and not just the short stories.

  2. Both the Adventure of the Speckled Band and Lamb to the Slaughter share some ...

    whom the adventure is seen through, allowing the reader an immediate involvement in the mystery and a force to believe Dr Watson. Holmes and Watson work on various clues with the help of Helen to find out that it was a snake let out by Dr Roylott that killed Julia.

  1. In this commentary, I will be writing about the different linguistic features of the ...

    this is contradicted by his references to the dog as "it" or "dog", never "Wellington". He doesn't appear to feel any of the usual horror, when describing the murder weapon.

  2. To what extent are the three/four stories we have investigated typical murder mystery or ...

    He is an extremely clever man, with Sherlock Holmes describing him as "a man of good birth and excellent education.", "But the man had hereditary tendencies of a most diabolical kind, a criminal strain ran in his blood". Again he is noticeable, being "extremely tall and thin" with "2 eyes deeply sunken in his head".

  1. Using the two stories from Sherlock Holmes write an essay on what you have ...

    Her sister now planning to marry herself was hearing the same low whistling sound that had troubled her sister before her death she suspected her step father Dr. roylott of the crime and calls on Holmes for help)

  2. Comparison Of Two 19th Century Crime Stories.

    In this story, the main character is anonymous, and the murder of the victim is seen through the criminal's eyes, which is the central character himself. The anonymous character expresses himself through the emotion he feels at the moment of the crime.

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