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Comparison between "The Body Snatchers" written by R.L Stevenson in 1884 and "The Landlady" written by Roald Dahl in 1960 In this assignment I am going to compare and contrast the way that Stevenson and Dahl create and maintain dramatic tension. Both of these texts contain many similarities as they both involve death and deceit, which is conveyed in the characters. In The Body Snatchers there are several people involved in the deceit, which encapsulates the relationship between the characters. The landlady is the only person involved in the murders, deceit and stuffing of the victims in The Landlady. This conveys loneliness and she seems to be withdrawn from society. Both of these stories have a 'back-story', as they both seem to be an extract or joining the story after the first few pages. In The Body Snatchers we meet the main characters in The George, a public house in Debenham, Scotland. It is quite an ordinary night in The George but then an extraordinary thing happens, suddenly out of the blue a "Great Neighbouring Proprietor" was struck down with 'apoplexy', which required the aid of a doctor from London "Dr Macfarlane". A gentleman by the name of Fettes knew the doctor as they had somewhat of a past together. They conversed briefly and abruptly then Fettes asked Dr Macfarlane if he had seen it again, "it" being Gray an old acquaintance of Fettes & the Dr but you don't find out what "it" is until the end of the story. ...read more.


Temple, Billy's fate is to join the two young gentleman on the third floor an be stuffed. I feel there is some sign of mental health problems with the landlady as she calls Billy; Mr Perkins & Mr Wilkins, Dahl may be trying to imply senility or certainly someone of disturbed mental health, hence the killings and stuffing. In The Body Snatchers Stevenson uses a lot of descriptive writing and leaves little to the imagination and there is little speech compared to Dahl, The Landlady requires someone with a good imagination to fully understand the story, there is little descriptive writing and revolves mostly around speech there is also no description of how she stuffed the bodies or what happens to Billy, was it arsenic or just some 'off' tea? The Body Snatchers uses the same writing style in some respects, they both conclude the story as they are started, with a certain air of mystery. In The Body Snatchers we never find out how they got home from the middle of nowhere, what happened to the fly and how the body in the fly changed from an old lady to a man. The only thing we know is that 'it' refers to the body of Grey who was murdered & dissected. Stevenson also uses vivid descriptions of the environment to build up tension. ...read more.


In The Landlady the language used is much more familiar and modern. It may be aimed at a younger audience, the time when it was written, Dahl's personally preferred writing style or a combination of these factors. The Landlady uses language, which creates an apparent effervescent atmosphere of affability and friendliness compared with a concoction of emotions, character interactions and relationships in The Body Snatchers (fear, aggression, dominance, envy etc). This builds up a picture of the characters and gives a fuller understanding of the characters. In The Landlady, I would say that the characters are less fully developed, less interesting and less believable which I wouldn't say builds up a true picture of the characters. I personally think that The Body Snatchers is a more challenging book to read therefore favour it over The Landlady, which I think is targeted at adolescents because it does not expand on the murders or how they were stuffed, Dahl also makes a joke through the book, he makes the reader think that the landlady wants to stuff him in a sexual way whereas she wants to stuff him in a non-sexual and literal way. I prefer a story to have at least one subplot The Landlady didn't even give us this the characters seamed to be like a drawing in only two dimensions and overall it relied on the reader to make the story what it was. R i c h a r d D a g l i s h ...read more.

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