The Speckled Band Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 15:24:05
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Category: Literature

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I am going to compare two short stories which both belong to the same genre of murder mystery. Lamb to the Slaughter was written by Roald Dahl and was written in the 1950s.Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote the Speckled Band in 1864. In the Speckled Band the female character is Helen Stoner. Helen is a passive victim, as she hasnt done anything wrong to warrant being murdered by Dr Ryolott, Just as Julia her sister who was murdered.

The Description of Helen Stoner is ¦Her face all drawn and grey, with restless frightened eyes, like those of some hunted animal. Her features and figure were those of a woman of thirty, but her hair was short with premature grey and her expression was weary and haggard. Her description shows that she has had a lot of hardship in her life as she has lost her mother, her sister and her step father beats her up you can tell this from later on in the story when she has bruises.

Helens relationship with her stepfather started off good but changed soon after her mother died, he became very violent towards her, he brought her back to England to live in an isolated house. Helens sister died after hearing a whistling noise. Several years later Helen has been forced to moved into her sisters room due to building work. After a few days of staying in there she has heard the same whistling and has become scared, as it is the same situation as before when her sister died. Helen fears for her life and this is when she needs Sherlock Holmes to help her find out what the noise is before something happens to her. Mary Maloney is the main Character in Lamb to the Slaughter Mary is more modern than Helen Stoner is, as she has control over her own life whereas Helen was controlled by her Stepfather.

At the opening of the story Mary behaves very normal and ordinary towards her husband, this makes you think that there isnt anything going to happen. It doesnt seem like a murder story at the beginning but it could almost be a love story as Mary was making her husband dinner and getting him drinks. But when her husband turned around and said he was leaving her and was going out for a meal this then turned the story round. After he said this Mary carried on as if nothing had happened, she got the lamb out of the freezer ready to cook, when she walks up behind Mr Maloney and hits him over the back of his head with the leg of lamb. Mr Maloney sways gently and falls to the floor dead. Mary did not think about what she was going to do, as she didnt know he was leaving her.

Mary went into a state of shock as she has actually killed him. After the shock had come out she felt cold and surprised. She was still holding the piece of meat tight with both hands and didnt care if she was caught but she was worried what would happen to her baby as the death penalty was still around but she still acted normal. She finished cooking the dinner, which got rid of the evidence when the police eat it. This story is twentieth century, as Helen Stoner needed Sherlock Holmes to help her whereas after the murder Mary did it all on her own, she was far more independent than Helen was.

Dr Roylott is a very tall man, he has a large face, seared with a thousand wrinkles and a burned yellow with the sun, he has deep set bile shot eyes, a high thin fleshy nose that had the resemblance to a fierce old bird of prey. Dr Roylott is a typical villain as his description tells you this as then no one pretty looking could do anything bad. Dr Roylott is also very violent as he has already killed his native butler and narrowly escaped a capital sentence last week he hurled the local blacksmith over a parapet into a stream

This shows that he is and has been very violent. He seems very protective about his affairs and is a hard man towards Helen. He is very dominant towards her and he expects to be obeyed. Sherlock Holmes appears to know the answer and he decides what to do, Helen listens to him and does what he says even though she knows her stepfather will be angry. Mr Maloney always has monosyllabic conversations. He shows this when he said that he was leaving Helen, He uses very short sentences as if he doesnt care as he went further and further away from her with each word from this quote I can tell that Mr Maloney is leaving her and the story says and he told her.

This shows that there was no discussion of this and therefore he expects her to put up with it. Mr Maloney is very cold towards Helen and is cruel. He is also very domineering as he expects her to put up with it. From this story I can see that Mr Maloney is very selfish as he is leaving her when she is having his baby, this shows that he doesnt really care for her or the baby. This is totally different compared to how he was at the beginning of the story.

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