Lamb to the Slaughter and The Speckled Band Essay

Lamb to the Slaughter and The Speckled Band Essay

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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 of the two you find
more compelling.

Arthur Conan Doyle, author of "The Speckled Band," wrote his story in
1892. Roald Dahl, author of "Lamb to the Slaughter," wrote his story
in 1954. Straightaway there is a definite difference in the stories;
one was written 62 years after the other. This major time gap will
obviously affect the way they were written. I will take this into
account in this essay. "The Speckled Band" is a typical murder
mystery, involving an eccentric doctor and a cunning detective. "Lamb
to the Slaughter" is about an impulsive murder of a man by his wife,
when he tells her that he is leaving her.

"Lamb to the Slaughter" begins with a happy, heart-warming scene of
Mary Maloney sat waiting for her husband to return from work. "The
room was warm and clean, the curtains drawn, the two table lamps
alight." It tells the reader how in love she is, and she seems
peaceful and contented as she sews. It appears like domestic bliss. It
seems extremely unlikely for that home to be the scene of a murder, as
it appears to be so tranquil. As the murder is at the beginning of the
story, it leaves the reader in suspense - will the detective catch
Mary? Or will she get away with it? It is different to traditional
detective stories, because they usually do not reveal whom the
murderer is until the very end, which also keeps the reader in
suspense but using a different technique.

"The Speckled Band" is written in first-person narrative and in the
past tense. This gives the reader a more realistic impression of the
sto...


... middle of paper ...


...ory anyway.

The language in "The Speckled Band" is archaic, compared to the
modern, colloquial language used by Dahl. Conan Doyle uses words such
as 'defray' and 'fain,' words which are definitely not used today and
are not recognised in our vocabulary. The descriptions are long and
drawn out, compared to the brief and to the point ones Dahl uses.

"Lamb to the Slaughter" is not stereotypical of any particular genre,
but is different altogether, in a league of it's own. The theme of the
plot is also lighter and in places more jovial than Conan Doyle's, and
there are a few instances where we can laugh at Dahl's ironic
situations.

"Lamb to the Slaughter" is a much more appealing story to me, as it is
shorter and easy to understand. Much of the language used by Conan
Doyle is too archaic for the younger generation to understand and take
an interest in.

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