• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3

How typical of the murder mystery story is “The Speckled Band” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and “Lamb to the Slaughter” by Roald Dahl? Which of these stories do you prefer and why?

Extracts from this document...


How typical of the murder mystery story is "The Speckled Band" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and "Lamb to the Slaughter" by Roald Dahl? Which of these stories do you prefer and why? These two stories were both written at different times in history. "The Speckled Band" was written in 1892 during the 19th century, whilst "Lamb to the Slaughter" was written in the middle of the 20th century in the 1950's. Immediately the reader can observe differences in style the way the stories are written, the words used in each and technique. The opening paragraph in "The Speckled Band" is written as a narrative, spoken by Dr Watson, Sherlock Holmes' assistant. He begins by talking of the past and the experiences he has enjoyed and endured with his friend. The sentences are longer and Watson speaks in a very formal way. He uses what is now archaic language, which adds to the formality and the way the reader perceives him as 'old fashioned'. The archaic words used are very rarely used in modern day language, but when sir Arthur Conan Doyle was writing they were common and in everyday use. A quote such as: "...Very sorry to knock you up Watson " Is used very rarely nowadays, but in its time meant to wake somebody up. ...read more.


and Holmes replies "No, but I observe the second half of a return ticket in your left glove. You must have started early, yet you had a good drive in a dog cart, along heavy roads before you reached the station." After hearing this Miss Stoner looks at Holmes in bewilderment. This displays his extraordinary intelligence for attention to detail and immediately gives the reader the impression that Holmes is a very skilled detective. The actions by Miss Stoner from the scene she enters in and onwards are uneasy and wary of her surroundings and the people she talks to. "It is not cold that makes me shiver Mr Holmes, it is fear..." This is also very predictable in victims and people in need of help in murder mysteries. Another character in the story is Dr Watson, Watson is the sidekick of Holmes, this is now almost necessary in a murder mystery to escalate the intelligence of the main detective. His status as a doctor makes the reader think of him as very intelligent but when compared to Holmes he seems to be of standard intelligence and this increases Holmes' reputation of being smart. ...read more.


The false clues really help the reader try to work out who has committed the murder and even how the murder was carried out. I preferred "Lamb to the Slaughter" to "The Speckled Band" because it was unconventional when compared to the usual murder mystery storyline. Although Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created the image of the murder mystery with his Holmes and Watson books, his storyline was appealing but not quite as much as Roald Dahl's because of the complexity of the clues and the way Holmes and Watson think. The Archaic language also made it harder to understand and much harder to read than "Lamb to the Slaughter" because having to find out what a dog cart was or what certain phrases meant slowed the flow of reading down. The ending in "Lamb to the Slaughter" was unexpected and what I thought was the opposite of what actually happened. I thought Mrs Maloney would have broken under the pressure of the detectives because she killed her husband, who at the start of the story she had great affection for. "Lamb to the slaughter" was satisfying to read and put a smile on my face when I read the ending. "The Speckled Band" was Satisfying to read because of the suspense involved but less satisfying because of its length for a short story. ?? ?? ?? ?? Max Kirk Page I ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Roald Dahl section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Roald Dahl essays

  1. The stories which I have chosen to explain how the writers keep the reader ...

    pleasant and more mature but has a side to her which is evil but cannot be seen clearly. Patrick, her husband is also behaving very suspiciously and his behaviour makes us suspect something is going to happen because he does not speak much when he gets home from work.

  2. Comparison between Murder Mystery stories - " Lamb to the slaughter" and "Speckled Band".

    It would seem she was completely in love and devoted to this man - 'merely to please herself with the thought that's each minute gone by made it nearer to the time that he would come', the writer here is introducing Mary's devotion to Patrick as this is the first time he mentions her thinking about him.

  1. The Study And Comparison of Two Short Stories Of The Murder Mystery Genre - ...

    I spent a lot of time thinking if Mrs Maloney had intentionally planned to kill her husband or if it was a spur of the moment thing. As soon as she kills him, she shows no remorse and knows exactly what to do about covering the murder up, but still I feel that she had not planned to kill him.

  2. A comparison of two short stories from the murder mystery genre

    This is an example of Dahl showing that appearances can be misleading. Roylott's motive is material well being. He married Helen Stoner's mother for her money. He was aware that there was money held in trust and knew if Helen or Julia married then some of the money would go to them and he would be left with very little.

  1. comparison of 'lamb of the slaughter' and 'the speckled band'

    The final comments in each story are diverse. In `Lamb to the Slaughter`, Mary is giggling at the detectives (with this readers are left thinking about how she got away with the crime) where as Sherlock says `I am no doubt indirectly responsible for Dr.

  2. Consider the conventions of murder mystery and examine the uses that Conan Doyle and ...

    Whereas on the other hand Dahl doesn't depict the detectives very well as we only know briefly of them and their actions. They seem professional in what they do because when it says 'the detectives kept asking her a lot of questions' but in a way they don't seem professional

  1. Compare and contrast the way the writer's depict relationships between men and women in ...

    and married her which he would have done if it was to any woman. The twist at the end in Catbird Seat is when Mr Martin is sitting pretty and when Mrs Barrows is erased/sacked from Mr Martin's motives: "Can't you see how he has tricked us, you old fool?"

  2. Discuss the extent to which the characters and setting in 'Lamb to the Slaughter' ...

    a link to death so, in a way, his fate is inscribed in these words so that it is not a total shock for the reader. As a villain, Mrs. Maloney strangely has the same effect as her husband. She appears as the perfect victim which is emphasized by her domesticity of sewing which counteracts any sinister airs.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work