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Comparison of The Whole Town's Sleeping, written by Ray Bradbury, and The Landlady, by Roald Dahl.

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Introduction

Mikel Valdes 9 / 12 / 2002 Comparison Essay The Whole Town's Sleeping, written by Ray Bradbury, and The Landlady, by Roald Dahl, are two short stories that have many facts in common; including the setting, the plot and the main characters. The first one narrates the story of a small town where a woman is strangled every month or so by a serial killer. One evening, a group of friends find the dead body of a girl from the town. From then on, the girls become obsessed with the idea of the killer going after them. On the other hand, Dahl's story describes how a man arrives to a town (Bath) late at night and is "pulled" in by a notice on a window into a Bed and Breakfast. The woman in charge of the place does not seem too weird, but even though the protagonist does not notice anything strange, the reader becomes aware of the old woman's immoral intentions. The main common aspects are that they are both tales based on fear and apprehension, as well as having opened endings. The setting, the plot and the attitude of the characters are going to be analysed having as an aim, the need to create tension. ...read more.

Middle

"In front of the fire, a pretty little dachshund was curled up asleep (...) The room itself, so far as he could see in the half-darkness, was filled with pleasant furniture" (The Landlady, 81). This passage explains how the protagonist sees the Bed and Breakfast as a great place to stay because of its appearance, which does not come out to be a great idea. Concerning the setting, both stories are quite similar. Both of them have a place where the protagonists feel most secure in (Lavinia's house, and the Bed and Breakfast respectively), however, as the story flows, they will turn out to be not as safe as they looked like. When writing the plot of these stories, both authors had one aim in mind; to create tension. However, they turned out to achieve their aim by different means. The Whole Town's Sleeping plot consists mainly on a series of continuous "mini-climaxes", thought of to create a steady tension around the fear of being attacked by the strangler. "The Lonely One might follow us and kill" (The Whole Town's Sleeping, 38). The quotation clearly shows the fright that the women experiment. On the other hand, The Landlady works in a different way. ...read more.

Conclusion

Once that he trusts her, the old lady has to do something truly bad, for him to end up his confidence on her. As he says, briskness is the common characteristic of all successful businessmen, which probably makes him very vulnerable at the time of taking decisions. Though, they are quite different when the time of expressing the protagonist's feelings comes, these two stories do appear quite alike in the aspect of their characters if looking at how they are "used" in each story. Both narrations have an evil person who tries to harm these protagonists without any apparent reason for doing so. Although two stories may look different at first sight, they surely have common aspects, which can be compared to find similitudes. In the case of The Whole Town's Sleeping and The Landlady, they are very similar stories that can be compared very easily. This occasion, the features contrasted were the setting, the plot and the main characters' attitude of the short stories. Every time we were able to find at least one common point between the two stories to make them look alike, which means that they are quite similar. They both have a similar setting where the tale takes place, they have comparable plots with the same type of ending, and they have pretty related major characters, in the way they are chased by evil. ...read more.

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