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Compare how Roald Dahl in his short story The Land Lady and Wilkie Collins in A Terribly Strange Bed creates Fear and Tension.

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The two short stories 'The Landlady' and 'A Terribly Strange Bed' create fear and tension in two very separate ways. For example, A Terribly Strange Bed is a detective story where a man wins money at a gambling house, spends the night somewhere and when he lies in bed the canopy lowers trying to suffocate him. But he gets away and wants to find out why the people have made up such a machine when they could just smother him themselves and throw him in the river with no complications. Whereas The Landlady is more of a horror story because this lady seems perfectly normal and then as more evidence builds Billy Weaver then realises that the parrot, Daschund and possible recent guests have been murdered and stuffed by this friendly landlady. There are also similarities between the two stories 'The Landlady' and 'A Terribly Strange Bed' because they are both about male narrators staying away from home. ...read more.


As the plot thickens more evidence suggests that she is in fact a murderer who has stripped both bodies to stuff them as she has also with the animals. That could possibly be why both names sounded familiar to Billy, they had probably been mentioned in the newspaper for going missing and tension gets built as he mentions to the landlady the names sounded familiar and she quickly changes the subject. It also looks as if she has been using poison in Billy's tea as it smelt strangely of 'bitter almonds' which is not normal. I do feel that the landlady has been stereotyped as a murderer just because her pets are stuffed but I can see how Billy got scared at the end. Although no evidence was proven in the story that Mr Temple and Mulholland were in fact stuffed also because she didn't admit to it. But this makes the story more effective and surprising. ...read more.


In A Terribly Strange Bed the narrator ignores the advice from the Old Soldier to be suspicious and cautious of everything. Billy in The Landlady doesn't feel like he should be suspicious and cautious until evidence builds up when she says 'there wasn't a blemish on Mr Temple's body' and that she was 'just a teeny weeny bit choosy and particular when she chose her guests'. This was made obvious when he read the guest book that revealed she had only two guests before him and they were years ago! One conclusion is almost certain for the ending that Billy will die in The Landlady who would never be suspected of doing such a crime and luckily the gambler escapes his ordeal in 'A Terribly Strange Bed'. The place A Terribly Strange Bed was set in Paris and The Landlady was set in Bath. The fear and tension in both stories is incredible and have a lot of connections with each other as 'A Terribly Strange Bed' is seen as a detective story and 'The Landlady' is a horror story. ...read more.

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