The Landlady: A Short Story

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It was much too good to be true. In the text, “The Landlady”, seventeen year old, naive Billy stumbled upon a friendly looking bed and breakfast. The stay had a cozy bed all for himself, a gas fire to keep him warm, and fresh, cooked meals, for an oddly cheap fee which the landlady offered. It just seemed a bit too suspicious. As Billy Weaver comes in contact with the landlady and her bed and breakfast, he is deceived by her sweet appearance, her affectionate gestures and the atmosphere, capturing himself in a deadly situation. The skeptical lady’s pink, round face and gentle, blue eyes was a face of innocence to him. He trusts her further and further as he spends more time with the woman, until the power of deception took control over Billy’s…show more content…
It seemed pleasant, Billy did not suspect anything could go wrong, he felt as he was in a safe and secure environment. “The room itself, so far as he could see in the half-darkness, was filled with pleasant furniture. There was a baby-grand piano and a big sofa and several plump armchairs; and in one corner he spotted a large parrot in a cage. Animals were usually a good sign in a place like this, Billy told himself; and all in all, it looked to him as though it would be a pretty decent house to stay in.” (Dahl, 1) As Billy noticed a handful of animals in the bed and breakfast, he came to a conclusion, claiming that he made the right choice staying here rather than the Bell and Dragon where he decided to go before he came across the cheaper lodging. It is ironic, as the boy supposed the animals were a fortuitous symbol, instead, it was the opposite. The animals foreshadowed the death of Billy as they were non-living and stuffed, representing how Billy would die. His character developed a sense of relief, assuming he is comfortable. Finally, to Billy’s stay at the inn, deception is evident as Weaver believes the beautiful furniture, animals and the overall atmosphere are indeed a good sign, though in reality, it is an illusion to hide the true evil sins of the owner and her…show more content…
She cooked. She was entertaining. What more could Billy have asked for? Billy’s suspicious landlady charms him as she welcomes him to her bed and breakfast, organizes his room, provides meals and of course makes fine tea. Although, poor Billy was once mesmerized by the old lady, failing to realize her real, haunting self. “Not in the least,” she said. “I stuff all my little pets myself when they pass away. Will you have another cup of tea?” “No, thank you,” Billy said. The tea tasted faintly of bitter almonds, and he didn’t much care for it.”(Dahl, 2) Billy shows his naive characteristics as he does not question as he learned his landlady stuffs her animals. Instead, he simply just ignores the odd fact. Also, while Billy drank the tea, he detected the faint taste of bitter almonds (most likely containing poison) but, he was simply ignorant and could not have cared less. It shows that if Billy was more cautious in his actions he could have put a stop to the landlady and exposed her. But, no. Billy Weaver was much too oblivious of his surroundings, causing his probable
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