Carol Fox

In Bloodlines, you can tell that it was set in the 20th century due to the following articles; the ram raids involved the stealing of electronic goods. Gary was involved in these ram raids and he drove a land rover. Wexford is known to the community of people in the story as a policeofficer indicating that men and women then had more or less of an equal standing in society. The reader is aware that there are more technologies discovered in Bloodlines due to superficial details as microwaves, Dictaphones and cell phones. There is also a difference in morality. In the late eighteenth to early nineteenth centuries it was not possible for a girl to leave home at the age of seventeen. In Bloodlines, one sees Arlene Heddon living in a caravan with Gary Wyatt, whom is married with children. From here you can see the differences in moralities between the two time settings within the stories.

The two stories also different in many other ways, not mentioned above. Bloodlines focuses mainly on a community of people rather than individual characters. Within this community, you can see that the author, Ruth Rendell, not only focuses on the murder itself, but also on aspects of society. She concentrates on the position of women, how women are abused, family life within the community and shifting relationships. She also centralises on the closeness of people within a community.

Another main difference in the stories is that Sherlock Holmes does his job because he enjoys doing it. He is not really bothered about payment. He shows the reader this when he says: “…you are at liberty to defray whatever expenses I may be put to, at the time which suits you best.” Holmes is insulted if anyone tries to connect him to the police in anyway. One the other hand, in Bloodlines, Wexford and Burden are policemen by profession and they get paid to do their job. The Adventure of the Speckled Band has fewer characters so we get into more depth with the characters and we get to know them better, this means that the reader can see how Holmes and Watson’s relationship is like. As mentioned before, Bloodlines point of focuses is on a whole community and how they behave towards each other.

The Adventure of the Speckled Band does not show women’s status that clearly. It is vague as to how women are in society. Helen Stoner’s own money is placed in the trust of her stepfather, which shows that women are regarded as subordinate to men (as stated before). Bloodlines on the other hand show us clearly how women are treated in society. Heather Peterlee is abused and beaten in the story when Tom Peterlee was still alive. What is so ironic is that Carol Fox murdered Tom and Heather and Carol are providing alibis for each other all the way through the story. This fact demonstrates that women can be just as strong as men. The formality of the two texts is also different. This is due to the fact that they were set about a century apart. The dialogue in Bloodlines is casual and colloquial. This does not necessarily show that people are close to each other, but people in the 20th century talk to each other in a generally less formal way.

To come to a conclusion, one can say that two stories can be similar in genre, length and other superficial points, yet quite different as a whole. Prime examples of this are the deviation in the setting, as well as the sense of morals, mainly due to the time period each story was set in. Other than that, both are unmistakably mystery novels, and contain similar themes such as suspense, puzzles, and a strong anticipation for the conclusion of the story. These motifs are all present in both The Adventure of the Speckled Band and Bloodlines. One can see that although they are both crime genre stories, they have many differences as well as similarities in characters, themes, and setting. However, both share the same conclusion, where the main character eventually solves the enigma of the case, and justice is finally done.

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