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GCSE: Roald Dahl

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  1. Free essay

    The Landlady

    She also owns the Bull and Gate, and enjoys stuffing dead 'pets', as she claims, "I stuff all my little pets myself when they pass away". Roald Dahl builds up the atmosphere of the story by setting the scene in a normal way but slowly increasing the tension level. Nearer to the beginning of the middle of the story, Roald releases some of Billy's thoughts about what he thinks about the Bull and Gate, "Beer and Darts in the evenings and lot's of people to talk to".

    • Word count: 570
  2. comparison of 'lamb of the slaughter' and 'the speckled band'

    She too was hearing whistling at night. Sherlock asked about the father. Helen described him as violent as when he lived in India he killed his butler and also he always argued with his neighbours. With this much information, Sherlock wanted to go and inspect the house. They find a fake bell pull and vent; this was enough information for Sherlock to know that it is a snake that killed Helen's sister. Doctor Roylett, their dad was the murderer. There are distinctions with the stories straight away as they both have different moods in the opening.

    • Word count: 3629
  3. The stories which I have chosen to explain how the writers keep the reader involved and interested in the story are "The Landlady" by Roald Dahl "Lamb to the Slaughter" by Roald Dahl and "The Flypaper" by Elizabeth Taylor

    Taylor also maintains the readers contemplation at the beginning by showing Sylvia`s mother has passed away this is shown in the opening of the third paragraph "Since her mothers death Sylvia had grown glum and suller". It makes the reader want to know how Sylvia managed life when she was an orphan, and managing life without her mother. I think this is a very good technique Taylor has used to keep the reader fascinated and involved in the story, this is also shown in the quote "since her mothers death her life had taken a sharp turn for the worse

    • Word count: 1363
  4. Compare 'Lamb to the Slaughter' and 'the Speckled Band'

    In my opinion 'The Speckled Bands' setting creates far more atmosphere than 'Lamb to the Slaughter' due to the wild animals that roam loose around Stoke Moran, we know this as Ms. Stoner says '... and he has at this moment a cheetah and a baboon, which wander freely over his grounds', this create a dangerous and mysterious mood, and mystery is enforced by the broken and boarded windows. However in 'Lamb to the Slaughter' the setting is an average home 'The room was warm and clean, the curtains drawn, the two table lamps alight-hers and the one by the empty chair opposite...'

    • Word count: 1303
  5. Comparison between the Lamb to the Slaughter And the Speckled Band

    Also when the husband knocks his drink back and the sound of the ice cubes hitting the bottom of the empty glass. Then he pours himself another drink but stronger than the first one and when Mary hears the ice cubes clinking against the side of the glass. Also it says 'he gets irritated from his wife'. Also he keeps encouraging her to sit down and in the end she does which leads to a shocking moment in the story.

    • Word count: 2123

    The name of the famous detectives in all of his stories is called Sherlock Holmes. His assistant is called Dr Watson. Sherlock Holmes was famous for his magnifying glass and also lives in London. The victim in Lamb to the Slaughter is Patrick Maloney who works for the police force. After the story goes on a bit, then tension starts to build up we see this by the response Patrick is giving to his wife Mary. She is one of those women who have total care for her husband like she's afraid of him.

    • Word count: 2855
  7. The stories "Lamb To The Slaughter" and "A Vendetta" will be compared and contrasted within this essay. The two stories are about ordinary people whose lives change after something unpleasant arises

    Through her pent up anger she he hit him with the frozen piece of lamb, showing her stress, anger and hatred; gently swaying Patrick fell over dead. She followed on, by leaving for the grocers to buy vegetables, which consequently made the man behind the counter her alibi. She comes home yet she weeps as a consequence she called the police. Cunningly she convinced the police to eat the weapon, therefore wiping out the evidence. In the story "A Vendetta" Mrs Saverini's son Antoine had been man slaughtered by Nicolas Ravolati after a quarrel at a local pub.

    • Word count: 1672
  8. 'Lamb to the Slaughter' and 'The Speckled Band' are both murder mysteries. They have some similarities but more differences.

    One of the main contrasts between the two stories was the settings of the murders. Doyle uses a stereotypical view of a haunted house in The Speckled Band which he portrays by using descriptive sentences such as 'The building was of grey lichen-blotched stone', similes 'like the claws of a crab' and it also describes the house as being 'a picture of a ruin.' This, naturally, makes the place seem scary and sinister and adds to the suspense. This is almost the complete opposite of the setting in Lamb to the Slaughter which is a 'warm and clean' room which seems very nice, relaxed and not at all the type of place in which a murder happens.

    • Word count: 2164
  9. The Lamb to the slaughter - Roald Dahl

    She refers to them as a famous duo, company them to 'Dempsey and Tunney', 'Churchill and Roosevelt'... famous boxers and politicians respectively. Billy notices the stuffed animals and he starts to think the worst for the pervious guests. "There wasn't a blemish on his body" were they murdered? She even says there are "on the 3rd floor". Initially the theme of lamb to the slaughter is rejection because the husband tells her marriage is over. We never know exactly why. It then became revenge when she kills her husband she then becomes scared and her character changes.

    • Word count: 1176
  10. Consider the conventions of murder mystery and examine the uses that Conan Doyle and Roald Dahl has made of them

    They do their job very well as they think quickly; have good ideas and good observation. They find the speckled band at the end and so solve the mystery whereas in 'lamb to the slaughter' the detectives leave a loose end as they don't know who committed the murder so they don't solve the mystery. In 'the speckled band' we know that Holmes is a great detective by the way that Watson describes him and his actions when he says 'I had no keener pleasure.......the problems submitted to him' on the first page.

    • Word count: 1396
  11. Miss Trunchbull One of the ways that Roald Dahl creates the character Miss Trunchbull is by her clothes

    He calls Miss Trunchbull's clothes "extremely odd." This tells you that the clothes she wore were very different to other ladies. The smock shows that she isn't a tidy and calm lady, but she is a rough and un-tidy lady.

    • Word count: 250
  12. Similarities and Differences between "The Speckled Band" and "Lamb to the Slaughter"

    "It is fear, Mr. Holmes. It is terror." All the characters in "The Speckled Band" are melodramatic and we can almost predict what they will do next. Sherlock Holmes is the brilliant detective who easily solves complex riddles and puzzles. "There is no mystery, my dear madam the left arm of your jacket is splattered with mud in no less than seven places...there is no vehicle save a dog cart which throws up mud in this way." The villain in the story Dr.

    • Word count: 1514
  13. In this essay I will be comparing and contrasting the stories of the Vendetta and The lamb to the slaughter. These two stories are about revenge. I will compare and contrast the way revenge is presented in both stories

    'her first instinct was not to believe any of it, to reject it all.' What Patrick said must have affected Mary strongly, even giving her the 'desire to vomit'. Before Patrick had told her his news, Mary seemed content and comfortable. I think Mary started to suspect something wasn't right when Patrick told her to sit down. He acted strongly by saying it twice, Almost begging her to 'sit down, just for a minute, sit down'. It was at this point that Mary got scared. Although as soon as he had told her she just went into a state of denial and carried on getting the supper.

    • Word count: 1545
  14. Lamb to the slaughter

    She loved the intent, far look in his eyes when they rested on her, the funny shape of the mouth, and especially the way he remained silent about his tiredness". The story escalates with the audience led to believe that Mr. Malone is leaving his wife and it leaves Mary shocked and extremely upset. The next part of the story shows Mary in a completely different context. After she kills her husband with a frozen leg of lamb she immediately starts creating her alibi.

    • Word count: 800
  15. "The Landlady"

    Dahl used the opening of the door as a hint also. He explained that the woman debouched the door open, which would foreshadow that she was abnormal. The woman also had cheap rent at her bed and breakfast. This would draw potential customers in for her awkward service. With these details, he already made the reader believe the woman and the place were creepy. Next, Dahl moved onto the entry and bedroom setting to give hints to the events to come. The bed had a hot water bottle in it.

    • Word count: 506
  16. "Compare the way in which Helen Stoner and Mary Maloney are treated in the two stories

    from the detectives point view, from the victims point of view, or from the murderers point of view. Due to the different times that the two stories, I have been asked to analyse, were written in the demands of society would be totally different, causing actions and responses to be different. The 1800's expressed a repressed society for women. Their lives were limited and activities often had to be supervised by, whereas the late 1950's, the feminist movement was at a high, offering women greater opportunities and high demand for equality. Both stories offer different points of view, 'Lamb to Slaughter' the story tends to come from the murderers point of view, Mary Maloney, and how she plans to cover up the murder of her husband.

    • Word count: 1454
  17. Lamb to the Slaughter and The Speckled Band essay

    An example of this friendly environment is when the author tells us 'The room was warm and clean'. The fact that the room is both warm and clean makes it feel cosy to the reader because warm is usually associated with friends and family. When you look closely at Dahl's story you can see that there are some clues that some sort of crime will occur here. An example of one of these clues is when Dahl needlessly adds 'but without anxiety' to his story, which indicates that that something, will happen here.

    • Word count: 2648
  18. Compare the ways Wilkie Collins, Edgar Allen Poe and Roal Dahl create the characters of the villans and the atmosphere of suspense and horror in the short stories we have studied.

    Wilkie Collins has created a very strong, mysterious and frightening villain in his story, 'The Ostler'. In the 19th century, this type of woman would have been very unusual, even up to the 20th century, as we see in 'Lamb To The Slaughter' Mary Maloney still feels (as most women would have done) that her husband has full power of her, such as when her husband is about to come home Mary Maloney is waiting for him, "When the clock said ten minutes to five, she began to listen and a few minutes later, she heard the tyres on the gravel."

    • Word count: 2660
  19. Compare and Contrast 'Lamb to the Slaughter and 'The Speckled Band'

    This was a time when England was a terrible place to live. Crime was high in the slums of London but when the Sherlock Holmes stories began to appear attitude started to change. Sherlock Holmes became the perfect detective as he cracked every case and always defeated evil. The setting of the stories reinforces 19th Century morality. The murder it self is set in an old mansion in the countryside "A picture of ruin". 'Lamb to the Slaughter' however is portrayed as being set in modern Ireland in an ordinary house with an ordinary couple.

    • Word count: 1395
  20. Lamb to the Slaughter" By Roald Dahl

    At first we see Mary Maloney as a gentle, loving person but we later find out she is capable of murder. We don't like thinking that we are a bad judge of character but this is the way Roald Dahl wanted. Roald Dahl writes nearly all his stories with a twist in them. He has a particular style of writing that lulls the reader to think one thing but to later twist that belief. My first impression of Mary Maloney was a happy woman with a lovely husband. "Mary Maloney was waiting for her husband to come him from work."

    • Word count: 1157
  21. Both "Lamb to the slaughter" and "The Speckled Band" shares some of the characteristics of murder mysteries. Explain the similarities and differences between the two stories and say which story you think is more compelling to read.

    So, Conan Doyle wrote of a character that could solve mysteries and counteract crime in such a way that amazed the Victorian public so much that they became dependant on the stories. This meant that Conan Doyle very much dominated Victorian Britain with his anecdotes. I believe that the same applied for Dahl. Dahl, like Conan Doyle, knew exactly what his target audience wanted. They wanted tales of mystery, murder and stories with a dark, yet humorous tone. He was successful in creating this, again giving the public a series of stories that suited these criteria.

    • Word count: 2779
  22. 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? Did either of them make you want to read on more than the other?

    Dahl describes the setting, the lonely atmosphere of the room and house. Atmosphere is created right from the start when he says "The room was warm and clean, the curtains drawn" in the first line which paints a picture of a loving family in the readers mind. It doesn't seem like a typical murder mystery and that murder is going to be committed. There is no lightening, spooky house or mist etc which you would associate with a murder mystery. Dahl then goes on to describe Mrs Maloney telling us everything that happened in great detail "the mouth was soft, and the eyes, with their new placid look".

    • Word count: 3338
  23. Compare and Contrast two Murder Mysteries

    In the story, Mrs. Maloney was a very loving and caring person before she killed her husband and she was also pregnant, which makes it more of a mystery for the detectives, because they would never think twice that the suspect was Mrs. Maloney. Mrs. Maloney kills her husband and then quickly goes to the shops, so that the shop keepers could be her alibis. She comes home again and calls the police, claiming that she came home from the shops and found her husband dead on the floor.

    • Word count: 1209
  24. Lamb to the Slaughter

    A little later perhaps, when she felt better, she would move.' The characters are portrayed very well in this story. Mary Maloney seems to be a very reserved woman at the beginning of the story and seems to dote upon her husband and uses him for company. You take this idea from the story when it is said that she waits for her husband to get home from work. 'Now and again she would glance up at the clock, but without anxiety, merely to please herself with the thought that each minute gone by made it nearer the time when he would come.'

    • Word count: 1058
  25. Compare and contrast the two short stories

    The victim in "Lamb to the Slaughter" is Patrick Maloney. Dahl gives us with quite a shock when we discover this - his wife Mary would have seemed a more typical victim. The couple seem to have a very ritualistic relationship, when Patrick breaks the ritual, you can see something is about to happen: "he did an unusual thing. He lifted his glass and drained it in one swallow, even though there was half of it...left." He then pours himself another, stronger drink.

    • Word count: 2309

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Discuss the difference between The Withered Arm and Lamb to the Slaughter.

    "To conclude this essay revenge takes place all the time and will continue to take place for years to come and it doesn't make any difference which century it happened in or if it is for good or bad. People will take revenge for things that happen to them, or their friends or family."

  • In this essay I will be comparing and contrasting the stories of the Vendetta and The lamb to the slaughter. These two stories are about revenge. I will compare and contrast the way revenge is presented in both stories

    "The revenge I preferred was Mary's. The crime was so perfect and I admire her intelligence and acting skills. In my opinion the Widow was to cold blooded whereas I can understand Mary's motives more. I loved the way Mary acted around the police, even convincing them to eat the murder weapon whilst they were supposed to be searching for it."

  • Compare and contrast the two short stories "The Speckled Band" by Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle, and "Lamb to the Slaughter" by Roald Dahl.

    "Dahl and Conan-Doyle have engineered the two stories well, but in my opinion, Dahls story, 'Lamb to the Slaughter', is the better of the two, for two main reasons. Firstly, Dahl has written this story specifically to go against the traditional detective story, making the setting, plot and characters untypical. Secondly, I particularly like the way in which Dahls characters develop as the story goes on. Mary Maloney goes from loving housewife and potential victim to possible psychopathic murderer. Patrick Maloney develops from potential psychopathic murderer to dead victim, and the detectives... well the detectives are pretty dim to begin with anyway. While Dahl's characters are flexible, Conan-Doyle's stay rigid and static. Dr Roylott stays violent, Helen Stoner stays terrified, and Holmes stays as vigilant and observant as ever. The main ingredient of a detective story is that the villain is caught and justice is achieved. This happens in 'The Speckled Band', with the poetic justice of Dr Roylott's death, but in 'Lamb to the Slaughter' it doesn't, and the villain gets off "scot-free". Even if they had found her out, they wouldn't have any evidence. The main ingredient is missing in 'Lamb to the Slaughter', but even so, that doesn't make the story any worse."

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