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GCSE: Roald Dahl

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  1. 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
  3. '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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. Compare and Contrast 'The Speckled Band' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, which was written in the late 19th century, and 'Lamb to the Slaughter' by Roald Dahl, which was written in the 20th century.

    Patrick refuses and confesses something shocking, but Mary is still willing to cook dinner. Mary goes to the kitchen and pulls out a piece of lamb from the freezer. She goes back into the sitting room and without thinking or even having any doubts she swings the frozen lamb with great strength and blows it at the back of Patrick's head, killing him instantly. Mary then puts the piece of lamb in the oven. After that Mary invents an alibi and when the detectives arrive she cunningly feeds the murder weapon (piece of lamb)

    • Word count: 2579
  9. "Lamb to the Slaughter" and "The Speckled Band" are two very different types of murder mystery. Describe some of the ways in which they are different and some of the ways in which they are the same.

    The murderer is a man of immense strength, "seized the poker and bent it into a curve." he has control over Helen and Julia, the two victims. "Five little livid spots, the marks of four fingers and a thumb printed upon the white wrist." This shows that Dr Roylott is strong and doesn't give any regards for his use of strength upon women. He is thoughtless and self-centred, like you would expect a murderer to be like. The two stories were written at different periods of time, "The Speckled Band" in the Victorian era, and "Lamb to the Slaughter" was written in the mid twentieth century.

    • Word count: 2974
  10. Comparte The Adventure of Abbey Grange and Lamb to the Slaughter.

    You could easily be fooled into believing it is a romance story. However, as Patrick comes home from work the mood begins to change. Firstly, you get rough, harsh noises that interrupt the peace and tranquillity of the house. For example, 'She heard the tyres on the gravel outside, the car door slamming, the footsteps passing the window, the key turning in the lock.' All this builds up to Patrick entering the room and Mary realising something is wrong. As well as sounds Dahl uses other means to create suspense.

    • Word count: 2187
  11. A comparison of modern murder mysteries against those written in the past.

    The victim in 'Lamb to the slaughter' flies in the face of tradition, Instead of the expected old fashioned view that females were the weaker s*x therefore they traditionally become the victims of the violent crimes that occur in murder mysteries but in this story the roles are reversed. The victim is in this story is a male police officer; he is also the murderer husband. Right from his entrance into the story we can tell that something is wrong.

    • Word count: 2304
  12. Comparing Rhoda Brook-"The Withered Arm" and Mary Maloney-"Lamb to the slaughter".

    Mary - Mary Maloney is a character of a higher class as her husband's a policeman Similarities - Both women have been slighted and rejected by men, they both have a fairly subservient social role, they both gain some sort of revenge for the rejection and they both make some sort of attempt to cover up their guilt. They both make use (or think about making use) of their children (born and unborn), they both show characteristics of obsession at different times.

    • Word count: 2237
  13. 'As a murder mystery story, Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle's 'The Speckled Band' is far more effective than Roald Dahl's 'Lamb to the Slaughter'. Do you agree?

    The opening of 'The Speckled Band' begins with Sherlock Holmes being alerted by an unexpected early caller. He then goes to wake his companion and narrator of the story Dr. Watson. Watson is quite startled at being woken up so early. There is a feeling of urgency in the atmosphere and a certain amount of mystery and tension. The detectives wonder about what could be so important to bring a young woman to call on them at such an hour. I believe the opening of 'The Speckled Band' prepares the reader for a mysterious crime to unfold.

    • Word count: 2969
  14. Compare how Hardy and Dahl keep there readers interested in the stories, especially commenting on :1)The readers' reactions to the roles of women, 2)How the stories end/conclude, 3) Whether you think the men get what they deserve.

    Then the three women discover each other and then the women are angry at Tony. He asks each women if they'd be his and firstly one of the women named Hannah answers no followed by a women called Unity and then he asks Milly who he was going to marry at first if she would still marry him and she replies with yes as she is immature and believed then Tony was just having a joke with the two other women. The other story Lamb to the Slaughter is about a woman called Mary Maloney who is six months pregnant and spends her day at home perhaps lonely and waiting for her husband to arrive back from work.

    • Word count: 2315
  15. Explain the main similarities and differences between the two murder mystery stories "Lamb to the Slaughter" and "The Speckled Band".

    The opening of this side tracks you off the true story. The house seems too normal for such a terrible thing to occur and you expect that the murder will be accidental. In contrast to Lamb to the Slaughter's calming mood, the mood in The Speckled Band is exciting and full of confusion. Sherlock Holmes wakes our narrator up, because a distressed lady would like to see them in the sitting room. You feel confused because the narrator is slightly confused and put it across in his story.

    • Word count: 2625
  16. Compare 'Lamb to the Slaughter' and 'The Speckled Band'.

    It knocks him over, and kills him. She is very shocked, but still manages to work out an alibi to cover up the death. She decides to pretend that nothing has happened and go to the shop perfectly calmly and normal. This makes Sam the shopkeeper give Mary a good alibi. He would say that when she went to the shop, she acted totally naturally, and he had nothing to suspect. Because Mary's husband was a detective himself she knew the other two detectives that came to the house.

    • Word count: 2202
  17. An Examination of How the Authors of ‘the Speckled Band’ and ‘ Lamb To the Slaughter’ Use Differing Styles and Techniques To Convey Atmosphere, Maintain Interest and Build Suspense.

    involved in the ensuing crime. This approach helps maintain interest and suspense in the early part of the story. A number of other techniques are employed to help confuse and, hopefully, enthuse the reader. Techniques such as the withholding of information, building of pace and the skilful use of language all help to enthuse the reader. The story was written in the late Victorian era. As was fairly typical in this period, it tries to build suspense methodically and gradually. In terms of building a sympathetic, intimate atmosphere, the piece is written from the point of view of Sherlock Holmes' dearest companion, Dr Watson.

    • Word count: 2118
  18. I am going to compare and contrast the two short stories "The Speckled Band" by Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle, and "Lamb to the Slaughter" by Roald Dahl, by pointing out techniques used which make it a typical or untypical detective or murder mystery story.

    Unlike Dahls story, "The Speckled Band" is a classic 'whodunit', and so, like many 'whodunits' there is suspense. Although both the stories have some of the typical components of a detective story, they are presented differently, the settings are different, the characters and of course the plot, this is what am going to write about in this essay. In "The Speckled Band", the setting of the main part of the story is very typical of the murder mystery genre. The story is set in an old forbidding house.

    • Word count: 2926
  19. With reference to 'The Speckled Band' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and 'Lamb To The Slaughter' by Roald Dahl, compare the ways which the writers create atmosphere and tension, give us clues to the endings and suspend our disbelief.

    She then goes out to the grocery store as normal, saying that she needs vegetables for Patrick's supper. She then goes home as normal, not expecting to find anything. She walks in and breaks down into tears, she then rings the police. Two detectives come over and search the house for any clues to the murder. They never even suspect that Mary could be the murderer. She then persuades the detectives to eat the lamb, them not knowing that they are eating the murder weapon. The Speckled Band is also a murder mystery type genre. The main characters in the narrative are Sherlock Holmes, his partner Dr Watson, Helen Stoner and Dr Grimesby Roylott.

    • Word count: 2791
  20. How Effective Do You Find "Speckled Band" and "Lamb To The Slaughter" as Murder Mysteries?

    "On the sideboard behind her, two tall glasses, soda water, whisky. Fresh ice cubes in the Thermos Bucket." Although there is calm and relaxed atmosphere, it is a little too calm which creates tension. This setting is very unconventional and does not fit the trend of typical murder mysteries and certainly does not match my prior expectations. The scene of the crime in 'The Speckled Band' is an old house. It is described in an eerie way; "The building was of grey, lichen - blotched stone, with a high central portion and two curving wings, like the claws of a crab, thrown out on each side.

    • Word count: 2158
  21. Analytical essay on Roald Dahl's 'The Landlady'.

    Surprised and suspicious, he begins questioning the older woman about the two men, whose names Billy recognizes. As he tries to pinpoint where he's heard of them, the woman constantly tries to change the subject and is ever so insistent on him drinking his tea. The woman reveals personal information about the last two boarders that alarms Billy, and he begins to realize a few things, like how the pets are stuffed, the woman is a fanatic taxidermist, how she smells of hospital corridors and how the tea tastes of bitter almonds, the same taste as arsenic...

    • Word count: 2365
  22. Both "Lamb to the slaughter" and "The Speckled band" share 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.

    The writer describes how the room was "warm and clean, the curtains drawn, the two table lamps alight..." and how she had prepared drinks for her husbands return. It was Thursday afternoon and she was excited and pleased wit the thought of her husbands return. "She would glance up at the clock... merely to please herself with the thought that each minute gone by made it nearer to the time when he would come." She loved her husband dearly and would do anything for him. "This was always a blissful time of day," everything was prepared, planned, but mainly everything was normal.

    • Word count: 2648
  23. Comparing the Build up of Suspense in "Lamb to the Slaughter" and "The Speckled Band".

    In the first section of "Lamb to the Slaughter", until the immediate aftermath of the murder of Mr. Maloney, almost immediately Dahl steadily builds up suspense. The scene is described, "The room was warm and clean, the curtains drawn..." The witty reader would have already noticed that the curtains were drawn, it does not take a great deal of imagination to think someone is about to do something intended to be kept away from prying eyes. We are told "Mary Maloney was waiting for her husband to come home from work.'

    • Word count: 2380
  24. Compare and Contrast the two short stories Lamb to the slaughter(1954) and The Adventure of the Speckled Band (1892).

    When we first see her in the story she was wearing black, veiled and grey haired. She was shivering and terrified "we could see that she was indeed in a pitiable state of agitation, her face all drawn and grey, with a restless frightened eyes, like of those of some hunted animal", "the lady gave a violent start", "It is fear, Mr Holmes. It is terror." The murderer in 'The Speckled Band' was Doctor Grimesby Roylott. He was a violent man who had a bad and short temper "In a fit of anger, however, caused by some robberies which had been perpetrated in the house, he beat his native butler to death".

    • Word count: 2352
  25. The Detective Genre. A comparison of characters, setting and atmosphere, and the endings in the two short stories, "The Speckled Band" by A Conan Doyal (Pre 1900) and "Lamb To The Slaughter" by R Dhal (Post 1900).

    He has "Bile shot eyes" This means that his eyes are a disgusting pale green colour. His eyes are like windows into his soul and because his eyes look evil it reflects what he is like inside. He has a boney nose, which makes him look like he has a beak for a nose. He is described as being very violent and aggressive. Helen Stoner, his stepdaughter tells Sherlock Holmes, Dr Roylott is "Absolutely uncontrollable in his anger" This shows he is violent. An example of his violent temper is when he battered his butler to death.

    • Word count: 2652

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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