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Compare and contrast the two short stories ‘ Lamb to the Slaughter’ and ‘ The Speckled Band’ In this essay I’m going to compare and contrast the two short stories, ‘Lamb to the Slaughter’ and ‘The Speckled Band

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Introduction

Compare and contrast the two short stories ' Lamb to the Slaughter' and ' The Speckled Band' In this essay I'm going to compare and contrast the two short stories, 'Lamb to the Slaughter' and 'The Speckled Band'. 'Lamb to the slaughter' was written in 1954 and is a fairly 'modern' crime story. It's about a woman called Mary Maloney killing her husband with a large piece of meat and getting away with it very cleverly. 'The Speckled Band' was written in 1892 and is very different to 'lamb to the slaughter' It's about a mad doctor who kills one of his step daughters and wants to kill the other because they will cost him money when they get married. In 'Lamb to the Slaughter' there is a 'third person' narrator. In this story it is the author Roald Dahl that narrates and comments on Mary Maloney's feelings. It is taken very much from Mary's view and the narrator tells you what is going on in her head. It makes you feel sorry for Mary because you know what she's feeling and how hard it must be for her. I think this is a good way of narrating but it does lose quite a lot of suspense that there would be if it were told by one of the characters. In 'The Speckled Band' the narrator starts off to be Dr Watson and her is the omniscient and tells most of the story. ...read more.

Middle

She tells them there might be something like that in the garage "She didn't think they had a big spanner. But there might be some things like that in the garage." This is all a big 'red herring' and leads the police away from what did kill him. To make matters worse for the police Mary asks them to eat the supper she had make for Mr Maloney "Why don't you eat up that lamb that's in the oven" this is a very good way of getting rid of her murder weapon. In 'The Speckled Band' the murder had happened two years previously and now there were trying to prevent another murder and solve the existing one. This is a true 'murder mystery' because you don't know who committed the crime until right at the end whereas in 'lamb to the slaughter' you know from the start. The whole story is building up suspense until you finally find out who killed the girl. This is the main focus rather than in 'Lamb to the Slaughter' the main focus is how Mary's going to get away with the murder and not get caught. In 'Speckled Band' there is a strong motive for Dr Roylott to kill his two stepdaughters because he has become quite poor and when the girls are going to get married he has to give them a substantial amount of his money. ...read more.

Conclusion

In 'Lamb to the Slaughter' the detectives seem to be unprofessional by drinking the whisky and not suspecting Mary Maloney because they knew who she was, when every thing was pointing at her they appear to be almost 'bumbling idiots' and cant see what's right under their noses " Probably right under our very noses. What you think, Jack?" In 'speckled band' the police couldn't crack the case so Miss Stoner had to call upon Holmes. In 'Lamb to the Slaughter' the police are so stupid as to eat the murder weapon and are totally fooled by Mrs. Maloney. There are many more differences than similarities between the two stories. I think this is because the writers are two very different people and they have different backgrounds, Roald Dahl mostly wrote for children and that perhaps it is very light hearted the way that he has 'pops' at the detectives, but Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a doctor and knew all the medical views of the cases which makes his books more real and perhaps he had a more of a respect towards the police than Roald Dahl did. The stories are different because of the time they were written, Roald Dahl wrote about a women killing her husband and that may have been less common in 1892 and that Is why Conan Doyle wrote about the women being a victim and her stepfather killing the girls. ?? ?? ?? ?? Jonathan Davies 10L GCSE English 1 ...read more.

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