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The story “Lamb to the slaughter” starts off with a very conventional starting creating the impression to the reader of a very normal family. The narrator of the story starts by describing the cosy environment of the house “The room was warm and clean” the narrator then continues to say that Mary Maloney is waiting for her husband anxiously to return from work. After a while Mr. Maloney (Mary Maloney’s husband) arrives and Mary Maloney makes a drink for Mr.
Maloney and her self “A strongish one for him, a weak one for herself” The narrator goes on to explain Mary Maloney’s admiration for Mr. Maloney “She loved to luxuriate in the presence of this man”
As the story continues Mary Maloney keeps on asking Mr. Maloney if he wants any thing to eat “I’ll get you some cheese and crackers” but only to be rudely replied by “No!” at this point the readers start to beg the question if Mary Maloney is insanely obsessed with Mr.
Maloney. Then later Mr. Maloney tells Mary Maloney to sit down and starts to talk to her for 5 minutes then finishes by saying “So there it is……”. At this point the reader is in suspense as to what Mr. Maloney said to Mary Maloney.
After a pause Mary Maloney says “I’ll get supper” as she goes to the kitchen the narrator explains that Mary Maloney was a bit shocked and felt a slight nausea and that every thing that she did was automatic as if she wasn’t in control.
At this point it seems that Mary Maloney is in a state of in denial. When she gets down into the freezer she pulls out the first thing that comes in to her hand which was a leg of lamb and with it she goes in to the living room where she sees her husband, who says “For god’s sake,….don’t make any supper for me”. And with that Mary Maloney hits the leg of lamb over Mr. Maloney’s head and he comes down to the ground.
The narrator then continues on to say “The noise of the crash helped bring Mary Maloney out of her shock”. After a while the narrator explains that Mary Maloney tries to think very fast of a way out, also mentions that Mary Maloney’s husband is in fact a detective himself. Later she buts the leg of lamb in the hot oven and goes to her bedroom to practice her alibi in front of the mirror “Hullo Sam…..” Then she goes out to the local shop to buy some groceries and to put her alibi to action. When she gets home she pretends to find her husband dead and phones the police. After a the police arrive and Mary Maloney tells them what happened, then minutes later the police take Mr. Maloney’s body away for a post mortem whilst the other officers check the house for the murder weapon.
As the search went on Mary Maloney convinces some of the officers and few of who she knew by name to have a drink, later one of the officers in the kitchen notices the Leg of lamb in the oven and tells Mary Maloney, who replies “Oh dear me, so it is I’d better turn it off for you hadn’t I, and with that she goes in to the kitchen and pulls out the lamb and offers it to the officers who hesitate to eat but Mary Maloney convinces the officers to eat and says that ” Patrick would never forgive me, god bless his soul, if I allowed you to remain in his house without offering you decent hospitality”. And as the officers ate Mary Maloney giggled in the other room.
Sherlock Holmes is the main detective in “The Speckled band” who Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Uses to create the formidable detective image of the storey which gets the reader exited about the suspense of a murder case. In the story of “The Speckled band” Sherlock Holmes is portrayed as a kind of detective who never leaves a stone unturned and is very observant and is why he upholds a reputation of being able to see “The manifold wickedness of the human heart”, but he is also reflected as a loner whom often has conflicts with the police down at Scotland Yard, which is un doubly unconventional for a detective story.
Throughout the story however; Sherlock Holmes is revealed to the reader as being devoted to his work, this is reflected in the story when he says “My profession is its own reward”. He is also seen as being dedicated to his odd behaviour; as he likes to lock him self away in his study smoking his pipe and playing his violin. Towards the end of the story Sherlock Holmes is exposed as creating the suspense of the story by revealing the solution at the end. Sherlock Holmes techniques are part of what create this formidable detective type figure of Sherlock Holmes, like from the beginning of the story of the “The Speckled band” Sherlock Holmes talks to Mrs. Hudson and while they talk Holmes says “I observe the second half of a return ticket in the palm of your left glove.”
This sentence is the first of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s attempts to create Holmes formidable detective image. Another great example of Holmes observational skills is when he visits the crime seen at the house where the murder of Mrs. Helen Stoner took place, here the narrator Watson describes in great detail Holmes detective work, “He threw himself down upon his face with his lens in his hand………examining minutely the cracks between the boards…….Running his eye up and down the wall” Watson’s use of great detail in his narration creates the clear idea of Holmes detective work which Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wants the readers the see. This illustration of Sherlock Holmes that Watson creates for us shows us that Holmes is a conventional type of detective.
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