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

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                                                                             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.

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One of the main parts of a story is the setting.  Both of these stories have two different major settings where the plot takes place.  In The Whole Town’s Sleeping, which takes place in Illinois, the first place you first meet is Lavinia’s home.  There, she feels secure and comfortable. “Home.  Oh safe at home. Safe, safe and safe at home!” (The Whole Town’s Sleeping, 56).  This fragment of the short story is of great importance because it explains Lavinia’s personal feelings towards her home, which later will turn out to be wrong.  However, the other main setting where ...

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