Compare and contrast the landlady and a terrible strange bed, which story do you find most chilling and why
The stories that we read are Roald Dahl’s, The Landlady and A Terrible Strange Bed by Wilkie Colins. The landlady is a 20th century short story whereas A Terrible Strange Bed was written in the 19th century. This is shown by the different words used in the two different story also the word order is different from the 19th century and the 20th century. The horror genre is when a story is scary or chilling. The story of the landlady is chilling and has suspense because the character is described as old and a fragile person.
The landlady stuffs animals as a hobby and the writer uses the language to make us think that she stuffs humans, there is also hints from the old lady because she says that the past guests are upstairs and when the story tells us about the lady stuffing animals it makes think that what happened to the past guests when the lady said they were upstairs. In the short stories there are horror words used, one of the words used in the Landlady is chilling which relates to something being scary, fearful, and terrifying. There is a expression for the word chilling which relates to being scared or feeling frightened, A twinge down your neck’.
The writing techniques used in the two stories were good but in the 19th century story of the terrible strange bed there was a clue how the story was going to end, this is because in the 19th century there wasn’t two many horror techniques used, whereas the writer of the landlady used better horror techniques as he made landlady looked innocent and give no clues as what will happen at the end, this makes the readers confused as who is the bad one and who is the good one, and also makes the readers more interested in reading the story as they would want to know what happens at the end of the story.
The story has suspense to it and some tension because the readers do not know what was going on as it is chilling and which will start to make the readers image what will happen. The story of the landlady opens with the protagonist Billy Weaver, an 18-year-old man visiting the city of Bath; he is described as a wannabe businessman. Dhal describes what he is wearing, which tells us that he is wearing a businessmen long coat, a trilby hat and walks briskly like a businessmen.
Billy weaver was in Bath for a business visit and wants to stay in a bed and breakfast, to find out where the bed and breakfast is he asks a porter in the train station where he could find the a bed and breakfast which the porter tells him one and gives him directions. As he is walking through the street he sees a bed and breakfast, he crosses over to have a look at the B&B, and he looks through the window. From outside it looked relaxing with nice furniture and nice carpet.
On the carpet there was some kind of animal preferably a dog or something curled up in front of the warm fireplace. Billy goes near the door thinking if to go ahead and look for another B&B but as he was about to go he felt like knocking and felt like he was attached to the door and he should knock, as he knock the door of the B&B opened as if the landlady was expecting him. As Billy goes in to the house he notices that there wasn’t any coats or umbrellas on the stand.
The landlady tells Billy the price of the room that Billy thought was very cheap, which he agreed to. The landlady directs Billy to his room where he goes and unpacks. When Billy finished he came down and signed the guest book, as he was signing the guest book he noticed that the were only two customers in the past five years and the most recent was about two years ago. At this moment the landlady came in with a cup of tea for Billy, as he was drinking he felt the tea tasted different a bit bitter for his liking.
The landlady starts to talk about herself to Billy, she tells him that she stuffs animals as a hobby. Billy asked the landlady about the other guests but the landlady didn’t give a straight answer saying that they were still in the B&B, this shows that the writer is giving hints that she stuffs humans because the landlady says something about seeing all of the red spots of the former guests. Dhal uses language to make us think and guess what happened to the past guests and what the landlady meant by saying about the past guests.
Near the end of the story he doesn’t finish the story as Dhal lives it up to the readers to make their mind, he lives it as a suspense story where there is no ending and the readers have to guess and make their own mind up. The narrative plot is put together by the writer by using the beginning exposition, which is the build up the climax, which is the high point, and last the resolution which is the end of the story where the problems and the questions are answered. The techniques used are good because it makes the writer think and in the landlady he tries to make the audience complicated by using false appearance.
At the end of the story the writer keeps us guessing by not telling us what happens and keeps the readers in suspense. In the landlady the characters are the protagonists, which is Billy Weaver and the landlady. The writer makes us expect Billy is posh by the use of the language used to describe him but infect he is a middleclass person who wants to be businessman. We also expect the landlady to be old and fragile and would not be able to move fast and maybe need help.
In the story it is the other way around Billy Weaver doesn’t want to use his money that much this is showed in the story when he wanted to stay in a cheap B&B, also it tells us that the landlady is completely opposite to what we think a old lady should be. The landlady has quick hands which is expressed when she is making the tea also it tells us that when she walks she staggers. The readers would think that the old landlady would be old and maybe need help as do most old ladies this is called the readers being stereotypical. The writer using adjectives, adverbs and verbs describes the description of Billy Weaver and the landlady.
Billy was seventeen, and was wearing a new over coat and a brown trilby hat and a new brown suit, he walked briskly down the road” This implies that the writer wanted to show Billy had ambition to become a businessman and the writer wanted to show the readers that Billy was young and acting posh. The writer also tells us that Billy didn’t have the money to spend like real businessman “How much do you charge” this tells us that Billy isn’t a real businessman and this makes the readers laugh at Billy Weaver as he acts like a businessman but doesn’t spend like one.
The landlady is described as old, fragile, walks like a crook and staggers when she walks but on the other hand she has quick hands, which the writer uses to confuse the audience by using false appearance. “He noticed that she had small white quick moving hands and red finger nails” This advises that the landlady puts on a false appearance, which confuses Billy as he thought she was old and a can not move that well. The writer uses this technique to confuse Billy so he doesn’t know what the old lady is up to.
We find out that Billy is a good innocent boy while the landlady stuffs animals for a hobby, which is a bit weird for a old lady. The writer uses the former guests to give us hints that she stuffs humans and that is what she done with the other guests. Billy Weavers motivations are that he came to Bath to visit and just wants to stay in a cheap B&B while the landlady’s motivation is to stuff Billy, as we know this because Dahl gives us hints of the landlady’s motivations. There was not a single blemish on his body” this shows that she saw one of the former guests, Christopher Mulhollands body and her hobby of animal stuffing makes the readers think how she saw the blemishes unless she had a sexual relationship or she stuffed him. Billy is not aware of this as he is described as a innocent boy. The setting in the landlady is a chilling atmosphere because Billy Weaver is on his and he is not aware of the landlady’s motivation, his feelings towards the landlady is that he thinks she is a bit weird.
Billy Weaver doesn’t know what will happen, as he will be in with a shock to find that she has bad intentions for him as Dhal uses language to give us hints. The settings are the bed and breakfast the empty house and the lonely living room. The setting gives us that something weird and horrific is going to happen because in the story the is described as a nice house but if go closer to the house it has a false appearance and the paint from outside looks but if you see it properly then you could see it is peeling off. Dhal uses adjectives to describe the house and how it stands out and how it attracts people.
The setting falls in with the genre because it has false appearances put on which relates to the horror genre, which has a false appearance to get the audience interested. The objects in the story is that she wants Billy Weaver so she can stuff him, this is not said in the story but there are hints by which Dhal wants us to figure it out by ourselves, there are also clues that she stuffed the other guests. We don’t know this until Dhal gives us hints about the genre and the landlady’s intentions which makes the readers suspicious about the landlady, this because of the false appearance and the horror techniques used in the story.
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