'The Landlady' by Roald Dahl

1816 Words Dec 1st, 2002 8 Pages
'The Landlady' is a short story about a young lad called Billy travelling to Bath on a business trip. He arrives in Bath in the evening and looks for accommodation. Bath was an unfamiliar place to Billy so he was unsure of the area. Billy was guided by a porter who recommended the 'Bell and Dragon' because it was close by, but Billy never went. Although the landlady offered cheap prices and cosy surroundings, she changes her attitude towards Billy as the story unfolds. He then realises that this landlady doesn't appear to be all that she seems to be. He begins to become concerned during his stay but never manages to uncover the landlady's secret before she murders the young lad.

To create suspense Roald Dahl has set the time at 9pm when
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The supernatural force finally compelled Billy to enter the front door and ring the bell. He was immediately confronted by the 'Landlady' as she answered the door 'at once'. The landlady invited Billy with a 'warm welcoming smile'. At the moment the landlady seems to be charming in order to get Billy's invitation to come in. Billy finds himself as being a lucky lad, to find a cosy house to stay in, whilst being isolated and inexperienced in Bath. Also the prices are cheap, which makes Billy to stay for certain. The landlady has a friendly appearance, gentle blue eyes with a round pink face that shows she's warm and caring, inviting Billy in this way makes him feel homely. Again the landlady uses her charm to determine Billy doesn't leave, by removing an egg for breakfast to lower his costs.

Billy's tension starts to build when he realises that there are no coats, umbrellas, and hats displayed near the front door. This is very strange considering it's at a boarding house where you would expect to see visitors each day. However there are more extraordinary happenings that go on as the story unfolds.

'You see, it isn't very often I have the

pleasure of taking a visitor into my little nest'

The landlady immediately changes her kind welcoming speech into something more dramatic and alarming, the quote above shows just that. She expresses this speech towards Billy quite madly, which indicates that her little nest is in fact her