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GCSE: Roald Dahl

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  1. The speckled band and The lamb to the slaughter

    He also pays a lot of attention to detail as shown when he notices the dummy bell rope, the ventilator that does not ventilate, and the bed is bolted to the floor. He is an intelligent man because he does not say if he has any suspicions of who or what killed Helen. ' I should prefer to have clearer proofs before I speak'. He is very good at linking all the clues found together ' the lady could not move her bed.

    • Word count: 1319
  2. In Lamb to the Slaughter and The Speckled Band how do the writers explore the genre of the murder mystery story? To what extent is each story a reflection of the society in which it was written?

    He challenges our preconceptions by adding a comic twist to the end of the story,this being when "Mary Maloney began to giggle". This twist is unexpected in a story of this genre, intriguing the reader, it shows a stark contrast to Doyle's more stereotypical work which has a far more sombre ending with a sense of justice being done. Another challenge to the genre and preconceptions of the reader is that the perpetrator of the crime in Dahl's story is known at the beginning, when the act occurs, "Mary Maloney simply walked behind him" and she "brought it down on the back of his head as hard as she could."

    • Word count: 2383
  3. Discuss the extent to which the characters and setting in Lambs to the Slaughter and the Speckled Band are typical of a horror story.

    As the horror was set in the Victorian era around 1888 when Jack the Ripper was the main topic of conversation and fear amongst the public, the readers knowledge of his murders may increase their experiences of fear and terror when they read the book. In Lambs to the Slaughter there is a rather unnatural twist as the villain is revealed straight- away and is thought of as an oblivious suspect throughout the story, thus because Mary Maloney appears emotionally upset over her husbands murder.

    • Word count: 2565
  4. Comparison of "Lamb to the Slaughter" and "The Speckled Band"

    and the other in the twentieth century (Lamb to the Slaughter), however this will be explored later in my essay. One thing to note about "Lamb to the Slaughter" is that although it has been written in the twentieth century, the style in witch it is written is still different to how authors write today. The first difference between the two stories is the way the writers actually begin them. In "Lamb to the Slaughter" it sets the scene for the reader and you feel as if you are actually in the room with Mary Maloney (the murderer).

    • Word count: 1904
  5. 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 the stories want to make you read on?

    However in the Speckled Band the old mysteries house is portrayed as a cold, horrible place to be in. The house is described as a gothic castle, which is derelict. The castle is described as " Unsafe and unstable" Part of the castle is habited and the rest is in ruins. Windows were bored up in the old gothic castle. " Some scaffolding had been erected against the end of the wall, and the stonework had been broken into" The structures of the two stories are very different, with The Speckled Band story unfolding in chronological order, finding out the murderer right at the end, however in the Lamb to the Slaughter, the murderer is known at the beginning of the story.

    • Word count: 944
  6. What are the similarities and differences between Roald Dahl’s ‘Lambs to the slaughter’ and ‘The speckled band’ by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle?

    In Lambs to the slaughter the author uses modern day values and begins by describing a comfy, homely and well looked after house and describes Mrs Maloney as a devoted wife who is content with life and very happy and so at first appears to be the victim, the writer also shows that the wife cares deeply for her husband when she takes his coat and gets him a drink, all this helps build the suspense. The writer doesn't say what Mr Maloney said to his wife, I think this is because he was trying to emphasize the fact that

    • Word count: 649
  7. Both Arthur Conan Doyle and Roald Dahl cover the issues of crime and punishment. Discuss with reference to character, language and historical context.

    It occurred to her that perhaps he hadn't even spoken' She then continues to go and get something for dinner out of the freezer. She got a leg of lamb. When he once again tells her that he does not want anything to eat, she, on impulse, hits him over the head with it and kills him. This is shocking and unexpected. The story carries on explaining how she feeds the evidence to the detectives and the alibi she uses.

    • Word count: 3148
  8. Both “Lamb to the Slaughter” and “The Adventures of the Speckled Band” share some of the characteristics of murder mysteries. With reference to structure, language and characterisation, explain the similarities and differences between

    however in SB, which is a traditional detective story, the genre is "whodunit?". In LS, the Maloney couple (will be a family) are portrayed as two quiet but content people (not the husband as the audience will find out). Dahl depicts the characters Mary Maloney (Mary) as peaceful, calm and uncomplainingly waiting for her husband, Patrick to come home from work. The murderer in SB is Dr.Roylott, who is Helen's stepfather, is portrayed as strong, "he is a man of immense strength" violent, "...absolutely uncontrollable in his anger" and had a constant shocking temper, "...ferocious quarrels with whoever might cross his path".

    • Word count: 1881
  9. Lamb To The Slaughter and The Speckled Band

    She offer's him a leg of lamb for supper, but after he snaps at her she takes drastic action. Grabbing the leg of lamb she swings it round on hits him on the head killing him instantly. Suddenly this woman who we almost see as wet and weak gains some attitude. She is no longer the victim, she is now the hunter! The Speckled Band comes from the other side of the spectrum completely, written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle it is set in 1883 and follows a most perplexing mystery with that most famous of detectives, Sherlock Holmes.

    • Word count: 994
  10. 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.

    We can tell this when the writer uses the word "singular features". The case described in the story seems unusual or mysterious especially when we are told a promise of secrecy was made. A very strange and curios mood is set and the reader is left wandering who the young lady in the story is and what is so terrible it is making her shiver from fear. The young lady is described as being "in a considerable state of excitement" and the way she wears a veil as well as being dressed all in black adds to the curiosity of the reader.

    • Word count: 4330
  11. Compare “the Speckled Band” and “Lamb To the Slaughter”

    "In a fit of anger, however, caused by some robberies which had been perpetrated in the house, he beat his native butler to death and narrowly escaped a capital sentence". This quote shows you that it would not have been the first time that he would have killed someone. Dr Grimesby Roylott also had a very obvious reason to kill his step daughters before they got married as he would be ruined, as the step daughter is entitled to have an annual income out of what Dr Grimesby Roylott income from Mrs Stoner's will, his wife.

    • Word count: 898
  12. Both Mary Maloney and Dr Roylott are clever about the ways they hide the evidence. Why does Mary Maloney get away with it and Dr Roylott does not?

    the Roylott house dates back over 'Two hundred years' It over shadows a local village leaving the Roylotts in total abandonment from the village people. Living in Stoke Moran is Dr Roylott with his two stepdaughters Helen and Julia. Also living with them under Dr Roylotts control is a baboon and a cheetah. Strangely, Dr Roylott also allows gypsies to roam around the grounds of Stoke Moran. 'The Speckled Band' tells of the love for one sister and the hatred of two sisters for their stepfather.

    • Word count: 1551
  13. Compare the murder mysteries of “A Lamb To A Slaughter” and “The Speckled Band”

    "He had finished the second drink and was staring down into the glass, frowning." In the 'Speckled Band' the victim is Miss Helen Stoner. 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." In 'Lamb to the Slaughter' the murderer was Mary Maloney.

    • Word count: 1783
  14. Compare and contrast “Lamb to the slaughter” by Roald Dahl with “Vendetta” by Guy De Maupassant.

    Over the years, forms of revenge may have changed, but they are still always there. In the 18th century, people may have gotten revenge by destroying other peoples crops, where as now, people would get revenge by breaking other peoples computers. In both stories, revenge is gained by murder, although, the murders only murder out of their own love for the person who has hurt them or is being hurt. "She came out slowly, feeling cold and surprised." This shows just how shocked Mary Maloney was at what she had done. She had never meant to hurt her husband, but she was in shock and probably denial at what she had just witnessed.

    • Word count: 3185
  15. Roald Dahl – “Lamb to the Slaughter” and Arthur Conan Doyle – “The Speckled Band”

    "Lamb to the Slaughter" is shorter than "The Speckled Band" because really there is no mystery to solve, as the reader feels that they have witnessed the murder as it happened, and so there is no real need to relive the events that happened earlier on that evening. What the reader really wants to know, I think, is what becomes of Mary Malone, the woman who murdered her husband, but didn't really deserve to go to prison, more like she needed help of some kind.

    • Word count: 3040
  16. Consider the differences in the way woman are presented in four short stories, showing how this is affected by the period in which each story is set.

    This is Milly, who was the one he was going to marry in the first place. At that time women were expected to respect their husbands and be good wives. They seem to accept this as one of the women says, "I would make you a finer wife" in order to try to get Tony to marry her. Since the town is so small gossip can travel quickly so when a girl who is not going to be his wife asks for a lift on his cart he is not so sure because that was not the right social behaviour back then.

    • Word count: 4310
  17. Examine the characters of Mrs Maloney in ‘Lamb to the slaughter’ and Roylott in ‘The Speckled Band’, both are clever about the way they hide the evidence of their crimes. Why does Mrs Maloney get away with it while Roylott doesn’t

    The mystery being finding the actual evidence of how the crimes were committed. 'Lamb To the slaughter' however is not at all typical of the detective story genre in that there is an element of surprise over the fact that the all loving housewife ends up committing the perfect murder. "The room was warm and clean, the curtains drawn, the two..." Instantly the reader gets the impression that there is a serenity and a calm about Mrs Maloney. Although calm, there is an air about her that suggests something out of the ordinary is about to happen for example; " The drop of the head as she...was curiously tranquil.

    • Word count: 2132
  18. Both Mrs Maloney and Roylott are clever about the way they hide the evidence of their crimes. Why does Mrs Maloney get away and Roylott doesn't?

    The time difference in the two stories means that the people have a different expectation of what expect in a story. The time difference in the Speckled Band is clearly shown by the language, 'yet you had a good drive in a dogcart'. We wouldn't use 'dogcart' in today's language; if people wrote differently their expectation is bound to of changed. The audience at the time of the Speckled Band Would expect the murderer to be a man. Change in audience suggests why Roylott gets caught and Mrs Maloney doesn't.

    • Word count: 3647
  19. Compare ‘The Speckled Band’ written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle With ‘Lamb to the Slaughter’ written by Roald Dahl

    However the murders have many differences. Dr Roylott purposely killed Helen's sister, he had planned it out and he was preparing to kill again, he had also 'beat his nature butler to death. Dr Roylott is portrayed as being a violent man who indulged in 'ferocious quarrels with whoever might cross his path'. In contrast Mary Maloney initially appears to be a pleasant housewife with 'a slow smiling air about her'. Mary Maloney didn't intend to kill her husband either and had never killed anybody before.

    • Word count: 2730
  20. Comparison of “Lamb to the Slaughter” and“The Adventure of the Speckled Band”detective stories.

    This title does play tricks though, because whenever you read about something speckled, you think that this must be what you are looking for. At first, I did this with the cheetah, and the Gypsies speckled bandanas. I think that Roald Dahl's title is smarter as it is mysterious and has two meanings, where as Conan Doyle's title is just a summary of the story. The beginning of 'Lamb to the Slaughter' tells us about Mary Maloney and her home.

    • Word count: 1751
  21. ‘The Speckled Band’ and ‘Lamb to the Slaughter’

    We never read this in 'lamb to the slaughter's' detective, because the story is more recent, the reader imagines him to just be wearing a plain suit, nothing like how stereotypical detectives are based on Homes. The one thing we know about Holmes is his intelligence and how clever he is. He spots things that the average eye would not, the smallest clue or piece of evidence and he gets to his conclusions through deductive reasoning ' I had come to these conclusions before ever I had entered his room', he sees significance in things, which are just common accurances.

    • Word count: 1861
  22. ‘Lamb to the Slaughter’ and ‘The Speckled Band’ are both murder mysteries. Why does one murderer, Mary Maloney, get away with it and the other, Dr Grimesby Roylott, get caught?

    In 'The Speckled Band' Dr Roylott murders his stepdaughter Julia Stoner and then attempts to murder her twin sister Helen Stoner. These are both premeditated and take a while to execute. This makes the stories quite different, even though they are both murder mysteries. The narrative voice telling the story is different in each story. In 'Lamb to the Slaughter' the story is broadcast by a third person - someone with no part whatsoever in the story. This gives us a 'fly on the wall' view of things and we are there all the time.

    • Word count: 2311
  23. Compare the settings of A Terribly Strange Bed and The Landlady. How do these add to the suspense of the stories?

    This tells the reader that what goes on in the gambling den could be unsafe. The gambling den contrasts with the pleasant scene of the city, it is 'horrible', and only seems to attract 'lamentably true types - of their respective classes'. The narrator uses the words 'weird' and 'tragedy' when describing the feeling he gets from the den. Yet, he still enters instead of leaving, as he still feels there is an aspect of excitement and fun present there.

    • Word count: 1903
  24. Compare ‘The Adventure of The Speckled Band’ and ‘Lamb to the Slaughter’ referring to the structure, language and characterisation. In what ways are the stories typical of the detective story genre.

    If we are alert readers we can pick up the clues and solve the puzzle. However, things aren't always as they seem and we can find ourselves being distracted by misleading clues - 'red herrings' which is all part of the fun of reading detective fiction. 'The Speckled Band' opens with Watson, Holmes side-kick, looking through the files and cases that Holmes is solved. The mood is quite mysterious as Watson searches through "On glancing over my notes of seventy off cases...I find many tragic, some comic, a large number merely strange." This specific line makes the reader feel like they want to keep reading the book - to find out which case Watson is going to go into detail about.

    • Word count: 4308
  25. 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

    He helps to build up the suspense by starting by saying "There are parts of the story where Dr Watson needs another character to fill in part of the story. Near the start of the story Helen Stoner needs to tell her part and therefore becomes the narrator when she tells Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson about how her sister died. Later in the story Sherlock Holmes himself has to add his part to the narrative by telling all about how he managed to solve the mystery.

    • Word count: 1502

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