The Landlady by Roald Dahl: Reading between the Lines

In the short story “The Landlady”, by Roald Dahl, a quick overView Will not accomplish an effective response. Short stories are created with hopes that the reader will infer to their own conclusion, The writer establishes a tool that enables a reader to think about what is presented and keep the questions rolling in their mind. Billy Weaver is a naive, innocent boy, whom is perfect for the landladies plan. Being a seventeen year old teenager iust entering the field of business, as well as a foreigner in Bath, makes him a perfect candidate for this particular bed and breakfast. Although his destination is the Bell and Dragon, Weaver enters the bed and breakfast Without rational thinking. The expression “Don’t Judge a book by its cover“, should have been reminded to Weaver at this moment.

Looking at the green curtains, the yellow chrysanthemums, the dog resting soundly in front of afire, and a parrot in a cage by a variety of cozy couches. he assumes that this would be a suitable arrangement. “Animals are usually a good sign in a place like this”, Billy told himself. He failed to investigate any further when the incredibly cheap price was revealed. Why would such an exceptional enVironment be so inexpensive? He failed to question this. “There were no other hats or coats In the hall. There were no umbrellas, no walkingsticksrnothing.“ With such a reasonable rate, why wouldn‘t others be reaping the benefits? Again he failed to question the abnormality. As he began getting situated into his living arrangement. the observation of the landlady being a little “dotty” enters Billy’s mind, “but at six pense a night, who gives a darn about that?” His mind is only focused on one point, the cost. Throughout the pages a feeling of danger is inflicted.

The landlady conveys an aura of uncertainty as she speaks With an overly-friendly tongue and suspicious actions. “He pressed the bell – and out she popped!” The subtle greeting from the landlady aroused confusion in Weaver, but he simply brushed it off and noticed the “warm welcoming smile”. An unusual amount of knowledge is conveyed in the ladies mind when Weaver inquires on a room. “It’s all ready for you, my dear,” is what she said. She already had a special room ready for Weaver before he even agreed on staying, When it was concluded that Billy was going to stay at the bed and breakfast, the statements made by the landlady are hardly ignored. “And it is such a pleasure, my dear, such a very great pleasure when now and again | open the door and | see someone standing there who is just exactly right”, This implies the requirements the landlady places on accepting a visitor into her household.

But once again, Billy ignores this peculiarity. Although the story presents a numerous amount of questioning remarks from the lady, Billy never picks up on the danger. The recognition of the two names in the guest book begin to stimulate the boys mind, but the puzzle is still obscured. He continues to boggle over this recognition, as he throws out suggestions to his thinking. Getting closer to the truth the lady reverts his attention to another subject, “I stuff all my little pets myself when they pass away,” The conversation about the stuffed pets allows the inference of what will conclude With the boy. Close details enhance short stories as they force the reader to come to their own conclusions. A reader needs to learn the skill of reading between the lines and use all of the presented information. What is often seen as irrelevant and small in a quick glance is often seen larger when Viewed more closely.

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