Comparison of Lamb to the Slaughter and The Adventure of the Speckled Band detective stories
Comparison of Lamb to the Slaughter and The Adventure of the Speckled Band detective stories

Comparison of Lamb to the Slaughter and The Adventure of the Speckled Band detective stories

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  • Published: October 15, 2017
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A detective, a crime, a victim, a culprit/criminal, a suspect, a witness, mystery, suspense, clues, evidence, interviews, alibis and a twist. These are all the things good detective story will include. To compare two detective stories and see how they differ, you need to know that that they have these things in common. Both of my two chosen detective stories have these qualities, and in this essay, I will be trying to find out how and why they are different.

‘Lamb to the Slaughter’ by Roald Dahl is a very ironic and deceiving title.It gives the impression of something sweet and innocent – like a lamb, being killed or sacrificed. The beginning of the story will make you continue to think this. The title is also a bit mysterious because even though we have an idea of what it mean, we are not sure, and it is very vague. It only becomes apparent when you have read some of the story that the title is referring to the murder weapon – a frozen leg of lamb. ‘The Adventure of the Speckled Band’ by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, however, isn’t as mysterious, because later on in the story it can be used as a clue to help solve the crime.

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 Cona


n 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. It all seems very warm and cosy, and you also get the impression that Mrs Maloney is very much in love with her husband. 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 to the time he would come.

” Not exactly what you would expect a murderer to do.Mary Maloney’s appearance is not described as the typical criminal’s either. “Her skin – for this was her six month with child – had acquired a wonderful translucent quality, the mouth was soft, and the eyes, with their new placid look, seemed larger, darker than before. From reading this, you get the impression that Mary Maloney is the ‘lamb’ who is going to be killed. But if you didn’t know that you were reading a detective story, you would not have guessed. ‘The Adventure of the Speckled Band’ however, lets you know from the very beginning that it is a detective story.

It introduces the main characters almost straight away, and tells you what has happened in the first two pages.Unlike ‘Lamb to the Slaughter’ the characters physical appearances are not described. The only thing that you learn about the main characters is that they like to sleep in late. He was a late riser, as a rule, and as the clock on the

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mantle-piece showed me that it was only a quarter-past seven, I blinked at him in some surprise..

. ” Could this odd start be the beginning of an odd case for Sherlock and Watson? The plot of ‘The Adventure of the Speckled Band’ is, in my opinion, a lot stronger than the plot of ‘Lamb to the Slaughter. ‘ It gives you more background, explains in detail what has happened and why, and it tells us what the real reason behind the crime was. Therefore, if he killed them, he would still receive this income.

We do not know exactly why Mary Maloney killed her husband, however, and all we know is that he had some sort of bad news, and maybe she got angry/jealous. Patrick Maloney’s murder was unplanned and spur-of-the-moment. Dr Grimesby Roylett had obviously thought a lot about how he was going to carry out the crime, and he knew exactly what the outcome would be – The death of his victim. There was no way that Mary Maloney knew that her husband would die in ‘Lamb to the Slaughter. The methods of detection are tremendously different in the two stories.In ‘Adventure of the Speckled Band,’ Sherlock Holmes listens and takes in everything that Helen Stoner is saying.

He asks a lot of questions, even ones that you would not have thought mattered. He even asks “Is it your custom to always lock yourselves in at night…

why? ” He also asks, “Was your sister dressed? ” Why should the questions be relevant in trying to find Julia Stoner’s killer? In ‘Lamb to the Slaughter’ the detectives only ask the obvious questions – Questions that come almost instinctively.It becomes quite clear that Sherlock Holmes ‘digs deeper’ and takes his cases a lot more personally than the detectives in ‘Lamb to the Slaughter. ‘ Sherlock Holmes does, however, have more clues. The bell pull that doesn’t work, the ventilator that goes from one room to the other, the dog lash, the clanging of the metal, the whistling and the saucer of milk all help Sherlock Holmes solve the crime.

The police detectives only have Patrick Maloney’s dead body as a clue and evidence. The time period that the stories are set in is probably the reason why the methods of detection are so different.Lamb to the Slaughter’ is obviously quite recent as Mary Maloney heard “tyres on the gravel outside and the car door slamming… ” Because the police could rely on autopsies/ post-mortems and forensic medicine, the detectives do not need to figure out who the killer is – They could get the scientists to do it for them.

Sherlock Holmes didn’t have much technology as he was from the Nineteenth Century. We know this as he refers to Helen Stoner being in a dogcart – A two wheeled horse drawn vehicle.Also, the clothes that Helen Stoner is wearing are not from modern times. She raised her veil as she spoke.

.. ” and “..

. Holmes pushed back the frill of black lace which fringed the hand…

” There were no lights or household electricity either. “In her right hand

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