The Landlady By Roald Dahl

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English Literature Essay The Landlady by Roald Dahl Q: How does Roald Dahl create anxiety and suspense in the Landlady? A: To tighten the plot of the Landlady, Roald Dahl has created a lot of anxiety and suspense throughout so that readers are attracted to read until the end where the fact is revealed. He uses approximately 6 ways to create these two elements. Firstly, at the very beginning, Roald Dahl already gives an unnerving setting to the story. When Billy arrived at Bath, the air there was ‘deadly cold’ and the wind was ‘like a flat blade of ice’. Night had fallen and the whole environment was dark. As Billy was especially new and unfamiliar to this place, the scene where he was walking alone on a deserted, creepy street sets up great worries and anxiety in the readers. Secondly, Roald Dahl uses juxtaposition to emphasize some strange scenes. Billy was originally walking in the dark when he saw the landlady’s window ‘brilliantly illuminated by a street-lamp’. The contrast between the brightness of the window and the surrounding shows that the landlady’s home is somehow odd. Also when he writes about the dead dog Basil, juxtaposition is used to contrast between the warmth of the fire and the hard cold corpse. Juxtapositions point out the unusual things and make the readers anxious. Thirdly, rhetoric devices that Roald Dahl uses in his words contribute to create anxiety. He uses repetition in the phrase ‘BED AND BREAKFAST’ to make it hypnotic, and uses focal position in describing there was nothing in the hall to emphasis the ‘no’ sound. Readers will get more nervous and scared when feeling such creepiness. Fourthly, to create suspense, Roald Dahl doesn’t directly tell what is suspicious, but rather shows them by using associations. For example, the landlady is described to have pale lips and long fingers, respectively associated with
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