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The Themes Of Suspense In Billy Dahl's The Landlady

Decent Essays
Dahl develops suspense throughout “The Landlady” by introducing an unfamiliar location for Billy Weaver, Bath, England. Since Dahl set the story in Bath, an undoubtedly shabby city, he increases Billy Weaver’s tension, which many feel when they are in a new place. Due to Billy’s nervousness of the unaccustomed environment, he accepts multiple peculiarities of the landlady that he may not have at home. For instance, Billy fails to recognize the odd selectiveness of applicants the landlady has. “ ‘But the trouble is that I am inclined to be just a teeny weeny bit choosy and particular- if you see what I mean’” (Dahl 2). Dahl forms suspense with the reader as they begin to question whether Billy Weaver will discover the landlady’s horrific intentions. However, it is quite normal for someone to not be able to see awfully apparent events upon an unfamiliar situation. For example, the article, “Fear of the Unknown” explains, “Every time an individual encounters an unfamiliar situation, the fear manifests itself, and prevents an individual from taking the right decision in life” (Perry). In Billy’s situation, his fear of unfamiliar surroundings forces him to take the landlady’s word for everything. Therefore, the landlady easily manipulates Billy and creates a distorted perception of safeness and comfort, which also prevents Billy from recognizing he is in the face of potential death. As Dahl continues to foreshadow that the landlady is a possible threat, the reader begins to
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