Conan Doyle - Sample Essay

“Probably under our very noses.” At this moment in the story they were eating the murder weapon. The ways in which both stories start are very different. In The Speckled Band the story starts of quick and pretty much straight away you are told there has already been a murder, we know from the start the story has a murder mystery genre. In Lamb to the Slaughter there is a completely different set up, in the beginning it is a warm, happy home environment and nothing bad is expected to happen, then it takes a little time before the warm, happy home environment is broken and its not clear what the genre is.

Conan Doyle’s use of language and style is mysterious, melo-dramatic and there is a sense of tension, because it is so formal and over-the-top that it becomes unrealistic. “A vogue feeling of impending misfortune….” Conan Doyle uses more adjectives and adverbs, this adds to his melodramatic style. Conan Doyle uses many more abstract nouns- he creates more emotion. Conan Doyle makes you feel that you are more in the investigation.

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Dahl’s use of language is sardonic while the style is more realistic. “Alright, she told herself. So I’ve killed him”. Dahl doesn’t want the audience to judge the characters or their situation. Both authors have very different techniques to build suspense and hold the readers interest Conan Doyle uses great attention to detail.

He describes everything in really close detail, Conan Doyle writes the stay in a very stereotypical way, Conan Doyle uses ‘Red Herrings’ such as the gypsies that Mr Roylott lets live in his grounds and the baboon and cheetah that he also lets walk round the grounds. In the Speckled Band the murder weapon is very unusual and Conan Doyle makes the reader not even expect the murderer to be an exotic snake, you also don’t expect the murder weapon to kill its owner. The step father is set up as the murderer from the start but Holmes just needs to find out he does it.

Dahl doesn’t pay great attention detail and does not hold the readers suspense using puzzles and mysteries. Dahl doesn’t use red herrings because he doesn’t want the reader to guess who the murderer is because he tells you from the start. The murder weapon is unusual as Mary Maloney gets the frozen leg of lamb from the freezer and ends up beating him to death with it which is very unpredictable.

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