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The Landlady

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The Landlady Critical Essay Introduction: The Landlady by Roald Dahl Plot: Billy Weaver arrives in Bath after taking the train from London. He had never been to bath before. He heads toward The Bell and Dragon, which is a pub he's been told he could spend the night at. On the way he notices a sign in the window of a nearby house: "BED AND BREAKFAST." He looks in the window and notices that it's a nice house, with a scorching fire and a dog. He decides to check it out and rings the bell. It is answered immediately a little old lady who invites him to enter and tells him the room rate. As it's less than half what he was prepared to pay, Billy decides to stay. She tells him that he is the only guest as she takes him to his room. When he goes downstairs to sign the guest-book, he notices that there are only two names in the book. The names are over two years old and what's more, he recognises them both, but he cant remember where he heard either of them. The landlady brings him a cup of tea. He seems to remember that one of them was an Eton schoolboy that disappeared, but she tells him that her Mr. ...read more.


the bell, he assumed that she had lost a son in the war and never got over it but longed the company of another young man. He only grows slightly suspicious of something odd after he has read the guest book and finds that there are only 2 other names in the whole thing, he is certain that he has heard of both of them before and for the same reason, only he cant remember what it was, and when he does remember; the lady hastily changes the conversation "were tall and young and handsome, my dear, just exactly like you."Once more, Billy glanced down at the book."Look here," he said, noticing the dates."Wait just a minute. Mulholland ... Christopher Mulholland ... wasn't that the name of the Eton schoolboy who was on a walking-tour through the West Country, and then all of a sudden ...""Milk?" she said." not even this makes him suspicious of the old lady and he carries on as normal. After receiving his tea he notices a strange smell in the house but he cant quite figure out what it is. When the old lady tells him that the other two people are still there, together on the top floor any normal person would have been running out the house like a bolt of lightning, but Mr Weaver stays put and is completely oblivious to what is about to happen. ...read more.


This makes the story interesting by making us believe one thing (that the landlady is a nice and friendly person) and then later on we realize that what we assumed could be no further than the truth, about half way through the story we find out the landlady isn't actually very nice and is in fact a murderer with two victims already. CONCLUSION Dahl has created a highly gripping story line by fully describing everything that appears in the story, it makes the reader feel part of what is going on, he wants us to be yelling at the book to tell Billy to get out, and to do this he made sure Billy didn't have a clue what was going on; also Dahl makes us want to read on to see it Billy does at last get out the house but leaves everyone in suspense by ending the story while Billy and the old lady are having tea in her house. My opinion of the Landlady is that it is probably the most interesting you can make a story that is quite short, in just a few pages Dahl has fully described Billy and the Landlady to a point where we feel like we know them and describes a house so well it makes us feel that we live there but has also managed to fit in a fantastically captivating story. ...read more.

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