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GCSE: Roald Dahl

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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. "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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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?

    Both writers, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Roald Dahl use various effects to make the reader continue reading. In 'Lamb to the Slaughter' the story is about Mrs Mary Maloney who appears to be a loving housewife but turns out to be a psychotic killer. This story concentrates on the killer unlike other stories, which are either about the detective or the victim. This way of telling the story encourages the reader to continue reading as the story is told in a different viewpoint from other detective stories.

    • Word count: 1995
  14. Comparing the two stories 'The Adventures of the Speckled Band' and 'The Lamb to the Slaughter'.

    We are taken back eight years to a case they solved. They were visited by a lady called Helen Stoner who explained her story from the moment her mother died to the most recent events. From there the story is slowly built up until the climax at the end when the case is solved. Conan Doyle is able to engage the reader by the affect of drama and atmosphere using short staccato sentences to convey excitement, movement and speed. Dynamic verbs such as 'rush' and 'groping' emphasises this. He is able to make the reader want to carry on by uncovering each clue one by one putting together the puzzle.

    • Word count: 1681
  15. Compare The Signalman by Charles Dickens and Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahl. Consider how the writers' create suspense and the influences of the writers' backgrounds.

    This effects the reader's expectations of the stories. From reading the opening of Lamb to the Slaughter we expect that the story is going to be quite amiable this is ironic because as you read on you come to see how it is the exact opposite. However from reading the opening of The Signalman we expect that the story is going to be quite eerie and mysterious. We also get this idea from the description of the setting, for example in The Signalman it describes the setting as "the glow of an angry sunset."

    • Word count: 1743
  16. Discuss the difference between The Withered Arm and Lamb to the Slaughter.

    Patrick her husband, is a policeman. Their life is boring and repetitive; they have drinks each night before cooking dinner. Until one day Patrick comes home and tells Mary he is having an affair and wants a divorce. Mary kills Patrick by hitting him over the head with a frozen leg of lamb that they were going to eat that night. Later she cooks the frozen leg of lamb and feeds it to the policemen investigating the case. Thomas Hardy the author of 'The Withered Arm' who lived in a town called Wessex from 1840 to 1928.

    • Word count: 1936
  17. How far are The Speckled Band and Lamb to the Slaughter typical of murder mysteries? How are the stories the same and how are they different? Compare the ways in which the stories are told.

    We studied another murder mystery aswell, a Jonathan Creek episode. This was a typical murder mystery, it was set in an old house, obviously there was a murder, there was a red herring (to throw the detective off-course) and the detective explained everything at the end. This story is very much like 'The Speckled Band', because in both stories all of the above happens and also something mysterious happens (in the Jonathan Creek story, the victim is found laying on the stairs with his hands under the door even though he was murdered and thrown on the floor at the

    • Word count: 1380
  18. Comparing a traditional murder story with an unconventional one -

    observe the second half of a return ticket in the palm of your left glove' The great detective is also extremely clever, this is so he can spot a red herring from a mile away. He is always one step ahead of everyone else. Now I'm moving on to talk about Sherlock Holmes' trusty companion Watson, Watson is less observant and less clever but he always reliable. Watson is the person who always asks for the explanations at the end of the story, once they have solved the mystery.

    • Word count: 1136
  19. Write a comparative essay about two stories you have studied - Compare characters, theme, language and similarities and differences - Roald Dahl The landlady, and Wilkie Collins The Terribly Strange Bed.

    The landlady shows Billy to his room and then asks him to go to the living room and sign in the record book and have a cup of tea with her. Billy thinks that she is lonely and just looking for some company. Billy notices that there are two their names in the book that seem familiar to him and strangely that she has only had 2, other male guests. Then Billy notices she has only had two other male guests.

    • Word count: 1700
  20. Critical Response – The Landlady.

    as he turns to leave, he notices the B&B sign in the window and is held by it and forced to walk up to the door and ring the bell. This turns the story around from a completely normal every day story to one full of mystery and strange events. I enjoyed this bit because it is really effective by making you want to read on. You want to find out why the sign draws him in and what is going on in the house to make it seem so mysterious.

    • Word count: 1415
  21. Looking at two short stories you have studied from mystery genres and discussing the similarities and differences between them.

    There is a detective or someone trying to find out who the killer is. There is the victim(s) who is or are killed by the killer. The murder is a mystery to people in the story or even in some cases both the audience and characters. There is also a weapon usually involved used by the killer to commit the crime. There is also a plan that the killer uses to try and not get caught or to do the killing. The stories of the mystery genre use many of the conventions, which I have stated above.

    • Word count: 1774
  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 any of the stories make you want to read on more than the other?

    He has a love for keeping strange animals, such as a baboon and a cheetah. Dr Roylott is someone you could class as a typical villain. He is described as being, 'so tall that his hat actually brushed the cross bar of the doorway' and that he was, 'marked with every evil passion.' This type of villain is typical of a 19th century story. The victim's sister, Helen Stoner, is the lady who summons Sherlock to solve the mystery of her sister's death. 'Lamb to the Slaughter' is slightly different. There is a slight twist to the story, which Roald Dahl has been known for in the past.

    • Word count: 1300
  23. Detective Fiction comparison 'Lamb to the Slaughter' & 'The Red Headed League'.

    It contains a number of short stories, mostly written in different styles. One thing that is common in all of them, is that they contain a funny taste of humor, we could define as 'black humor'. The title of the story 'Lamb to the slaughter' already gives away the possible plot of the story; we know that a lamb is somehow going to be involved in the story and might be of help in the crime. Roald Dahl cleverly describes the two main characters in a way to make us sympathize with the murderer.

    • Word count: 1309
  24. What have you found interesting from your study of crime stories?

    Furthermore, this technique is used to add to suspense. We do not know what the criminal will do next, whether they will commit again, whether they will be found out or whether the criminal will buckle under the pressure and give himself or herself up. In 'The Tell Tale Heart', the criminal buckles under the pressure and he gives himself up. The murder he committed eats him up inside and at the point where the police inquire about a murder he explodes into panicked screams, 'I admit the deed!

    • Word count: 1991
  25. The Case for the Defence and the Call Waiting.

    When they leave the court there is an angry mob one of which pushes one Adam's win in front of a bus he is then killed and the other brother cries but no one knew if the innocent was dead. In the C.W. there is no convicted murderer until the husband a year later investigates his wife's death by ringing his late wife's mobile number and discovering some evidence to convict the murderer from the woman who answers the phone.

    • Word count: 1680

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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