Comparing Lamb To The Slaughter And The Speckled Band

3410 words - 14 pages

Comparing Lamb to the Slaughter and The Speckled Band

"Lamb to the Slaughter" is a short murder mystery story written by
Roald Dahl a Norwegian author, in 19 54. It is a Black comedy and was
very macabre and startling for its time, and still is now, but it
isn't seen as quite so shocking and politically incorrect "Did they
kill them both- mother and child?" Roald Dahl is more famous for his
children's stories such as "James and the Giant Peach" and "The
Twits", than his stories for adults, these include "Kiss, Kiss" and
"Tales of the Unexpected", which was also televised as a series of
short stories.

"The Speckled Band" is also a relatively short murder mystery story.
It was written in 1892 by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It features Sherlock
Holmes, who is the detective that Conan Doyle writes his murder
mysteries about, he is the stereotype of a Victorian detective. He is
what Victorian people would want all detectives to be like, he always
solves his cases, he respects others and is strong, in body and in
mind. "He unravelled problems which were submitted to him." He makes
"rapid deductions…founded on a logical basis." and is admired by many
for this, "I have no keener pleasure than in following Holmes."

The stories written about him are stereotypical of Victorian Detective
stories, this also means that the victims, and murderer will be
stereotypical of the time. 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. This difference is very apparent
in, primarily, the plot, also the writing styles and language of the
stories.

Conan Doyle uses such words as "defray" which means to repay and,
"aperture" to mean opening, or doorway. These were common words of
Victorian times, but now, they are rarely used, as not many people
understand the complexity and the formality of the language used in
the 19th century. This shows us as the audience how much vocabulary
and grammar has changed in the short space of 60 years, nowadays a lot
of slang words are used such as, 'cool'. The style of "Lamb to the
Slaughter" is more modern and so modern values and causes are more
widely focused on. The language is staccato and less detailed in its
descriptions than that of "The Speckled Band" is. "The Speckled Band"
is set in England. I know this because Sherlock...

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