The Landlady is a short story about a young English individual named Billy Weaver who travels to a small town in England named Bath. The trip that Weaver takes is a business trip and his main aim is to work. While travelling in a train, a porter recommended him to stay in a cheap hotel. While on his way, he says a boarding house and decided to stay at the in-house. The landlady in the boardinghouse treated him kindly. Weaver noticed that there had been only two other previous guests. On further reflection, Weaver notices that the names of the previous guests were somewhat familiar to him and had been missing. The land lady refers to the two boys in a past tense and when weaver inquiries about their whereabouts, the landlady informs him that one had just left the inn but were both still staying at the inn. When the old lady offers Weaver tea, he finds that the tea tastes faintly of bitter almonds. The short story ends in a climax and it is up to the reader to infer to what happened to Billy from the various hints that are offered in the short story (Hoffman et al., 112).
The Landlady is one of the key characters in the short story. Her name and actual age are not given in the story. From the description in the story, the Landlady is an individual with a round face, blue eyes apart from her warm smile. The Landlady is presented as a warm individual in the beginning of the short story in that he informs Weaver that the room belongs to him alone. The generosity that the Landlady gives Billy can be used to determine her personality. However, after reading the story for sometimes, one realizes that the Landlady is an individual who has mastered the art cunning and using careful skill. This is because the Landlady is in a position that she can portray that she does not possess any danger to Billy. The other evidence that can be used to illustrate her cunning wit is the discussion that the residents of the adjacent boarding houses have about the two lost boys. The Landlady is able to avert the conversation (Dahl, 174). The fact that Weaver does not see the Landlady as an individual with ill motives anymore depicts that she is a sneaky and cunning character.
The other character trait of the Landlady is creepiness. This is because a reader of the short story feels some disturbance. In fact, the entire time that Weaver resides in the boarding house, the old lady keeps following Weaver while staring at him. The narrator of the short story informs the reader that Weaver could feel her eyes resting on his face, watching him over the rim of her teacup (Dahl, 177). The other fact that has to be taken into consideration is that there is no other individual residing in the boarding house leaving every move that Landlady make eerie. The assumption that the reader gets from the short story is that the landlady kills and stuffs the body of Billy for the purpose of decoration.
The landlady is a round character. This is because from the onset of the story, the land lady is depicted as a warm character while at the end, the readers make the assumption that the landlady is a coldblooded psychopath murderer (Wilcox et al., 34). The Landlady is a strong character who is interesting.
Dahl, Roald. The Landlady: A Roald Dahl Short Story. , 2012. Internet resource.
Hoffman, Michael J, and Patrick D. Murphy. Essentials of the Theory of Fiction. Durham, N.C: Duke University Press, 2005. Internet resource.
Wilcox, Earl J, and David L. Rankin. Fundamentals of Fiction. Lanham: University Press of America, 1993. Print.
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