Comparing Lamb to the Slaughter and The Speckled Band

2172 Words Jul 12th, 2018 9 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
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From this point events unfold quite slowly, the actual solving of the mystery doesn't begin until Holmes and Watson visit Stoke Moran. When they arrive at Stoke Moran, it is described in great detail, "grey…lichen blotched… windows were broken…a picture of ruin." A simile is used, "Like the claws of a crab." to describe the shape of the building, this gives it an ominous air, and the reader would feel uneasy towards the house, because there is the impression that something bad might have happened or will happen when they get there. This is an early example of tension in this story. It is very dramatic, because of the heavily described building, which is written about to appear daunting and mysterious.

Both authors' use a lot of description about the surroundings to set the scene, this is a similarity they have. However, Conan Doyle uses more descriptions because the scene changes a lot and different people come into the story, each being fully described. Whereas Dahl doesn't describe the characters in detail, as there is only one main character, Mary Maloney, the murderer, she is a woman. In contrast, "Lamb to the Slaughter" starts with a direct description of the home, "the room was warm and clean…fresh ice cubes in the thermos." The description is detailed, this creates an tense atmosphere as the detail informative and leads the
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