The Landlady by Roald Dahl Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahl and The Flypaper by Elizabeth Taylor
The stories which I have chosen to explain how the writers keep the reader involved and interested in the story are “The Landlady” by Roald Dahl “Lamb to the Slaughter” by Roald Dahl and “The Flypaper” by Elizabeth Taylor. In “the Flypaper” we learn that Sylvia is scared and she puts up with unpleasant experiences without complaining.
This is shown in the quote “because of her docile manner she did not complain of her misery she suffered in Miss Harrisons darkened parlour” Taylor shows this in the opening so that the reader is kept involved in the story and the readers attention is grabbed by teaching us how upsetting Sylvias life has been and how its been for her loosing her mother at such a young age, together this makes the reader want to read on so we can learn more about what has happened to Sylvia in her life and how she has struggled at times.
In the first paragraph Taylor shows Sylvias emotions and feelings this is shown in the quote “because of her docile manner she did not complain of her misery she suffered in Miss Harrisons darkened parlour” this makes it sound a lot more serious and shows the reader in the beginning of the story that Sylvia is upset of her misery but yet remains silent. Taylor also maintains the readers contemplation at the beginning by showing Sylvia`s mother has passed away this is shown in the opening of the third paragraph “Since her mothers death Sylvia had grown glum and suller”.
It makes the reader want to know how Sylvia managed life when she was an orphan, and managing life without her mother. I think this is a very good technique Taylor has used to keep the reader fascinated and involved in the story, this is also shown in the quote “since her mothers death her life had taken a sharp turn for the worse and she could not see how it would be any better, she had no faith in freeing herself from it even when she was grown up” this makes us feel that she has no hopes of anything nice happen to her.
We learn that Sylvia does not like her grandma as she is harsh on her for example she does not let her eats sweets. The writer describes Sylvias personality this is shown in the quote “since her mothers death Sylvia had grown glum and sullen she was a plain child, plump mature for a child of 11 years”, this is important to the rest of the story as she is very shy and vulnerable and this shows that Sylvia could easily become victim. Taylor wants the audience to feel sorry for Sylvia because she is very quiet about everything for example being annoyed at the bus stop, not enjoying her music lessons and so on.
In “The Landlady” Billy is portrayed as a young innocent and humble person from the way he represents himself in the story for example the way he dresses as a 17 year old “Billy was 17 years old, he was wearing a new navy blue overcoat, a new brown tribly hat and a new brown suit” this makes him seem much more mature for his age. Billy is strongly attracted to the boarding house because in bold it says “bed and breakfasts”, he is also attracted by the green curtains which were of velvet material which seemed old fashioned and when he looked into the window the fire attracted him because it was very cold outside.
There are also many strange things which the Landlady says for example as soon as Billy enters the house, she says “I saw the notice in the window” Says Billy “Yes I know” Says Landlady “I was wandering about a room” Says Billy “Its all ready for you my dear” Says Landlady This is very strange because it shows that she was already expecting Billy which is very peculiar, this creates a great sense of suspense and it seems very sinister and menacing.
Another eccentric thing is that the hotel overall is very discounted only i?? including breakfast and accommodation and she seems to be really nice and looks nice and so Billy is not at all apprehensive. However the reader already feels that something is not quiet right because of what the Landlady says, The mystery created in “The Landlady” and “The Flypaper” is very similar. In the end we learn that the Landlady is a murderer because she has a list of all who have visited the hotel and both the people who have visited have never been seen again and are missing.
The writer attracts the readers attention throughout the story and keeps the reader involved in the story till the end where everything is revealed. In “Lamb to the Slaughter” the scene is very straightforward because Mary Maloney is joyful and waiting for her husband to return from work, and is planning a nice night in with her husband. This is shown in the opening paragraph of the story “the room was warm and clean, the curtains drawn, two table lamps alight, hers and the one by the empty chair opposite, on the side board behind her two tall glasses, soda water, whisky”.
This is a really nice and cosy atmosphere Dahl has shown the atmosphere like this so that the reader would not suspect that anything so tragic may happen. As a main character in the story Mary is very distinct to Billy and Sylvia because she is a person who is pleasant and more mature but has a side to her which is evil but cannot be seen clearly. Patrick, her husband is also behaving very suspiciously and his behaviour makes us suspect something is going to happen because he does not speak much when he gets home from work.
This influences the reader to want to know the reason behind this; this can be seen in the opening conversation. “hullo darling” says Mary “hullo” says Patrick and then “tired darling” asks Mary “yes” replies Patrick The way Patrick is responding to Mary is very strange because his tone of voice is very ruthless and dull, it shows the audience that Patrick is not happy and something has gone wrong this can be seen by the tone of his voice and he is only replying with one word answers and not having a proper conversation.
He is also acting very strange for example having his drink all in one go which he usually does not do. The slaughter of Patrick happens after he tells Mary something much unexpected. She just gets the lamb and hits it around his head. This murder is very immoral and is similar to “The Flypaper” and “The Landlady” because the murders are very astonishing. The simple reason why Mary gets away with the slaughter of her husband is because the way she acts and portrays herself after the murder is neither suspicious, nor doubtful.
She also gets away with murder because she feeds the only source of evidence to the police officers who are scrutinizing the murder mystery. The writer uses all these techniques to keep the reader involved in the story and always makes the audience want to know what happened next. The ending in “Lamb to the Slaughter” is of a high-quality because Mary giggles when the police officer at the end says “the evidence might be right under our very own noses” this is the reason she giggles and this shows the deceiving side of her.
All these stories are good at keeping our interest but out of them all my most preferred is “Lamb to the Slaughter” because it is really good type of murder because she feeds the weapon used to kill to the police officers and they have no evidence that she assassinated her husband. It also kept me most interested because it always made me want to read on and want to know what happened next and Dahl did this in an intellectual way.
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