THE LANDLADY BY ROALD DAHL SYNOPSIS In this story, Billy Weaver, a seventeen-year-old young man from

London goes to Bath to report for work. As he looks for accommodation, he is drawn to a house where a landlady seems to be expecting him. The house and landlady seem friendly and welcoming, and he looks forward to staying there. He is surprised that there is no other guest in the house. When she asks him to sign in the guest book, his attention is caught by two other guest names written in the book. He tries to figure out where he had seen the names and finally recalls that the names were in the newspaper. He then notices that the last entry was written two years before him. As he tries recalling more about the two names, Christhopher Mulholland and Gregory W.Temple, she informs him that the two guests are still in the house, on the third floor. As he picks up his teacup, he realizes that the beautiful parrot and dog in the sitting room are not alive but beautifully preserved. The landlady says that she preserved the animals. CHARACTERS The Landlady  Forty-five or fifty years old  Round pink face and gentle blue eyes  Has small, white hands and red finger-nails  Warm, welcoming, pleasant and friendly  Lonely  Sinister looking  Absent-minded (forgets his name)  Cunning and scheming (the way she decorated the living room to attract her guests)  Mentally ill Billy Weaver  Seventeen-year-old young man  Tall and handsome with beautiful looking teeth  Dressed in rather old-fashioned way  Inquisitive  Easily trusting and naive  Observant THEMES Preservation of Beauty Loneliness POINT OF VIEW Third person narrative

SETTING England in 1950s - City of Bath - Landlady’s house ISSUES Looks can be deceptive Poisoning Insanity Being cautious ACTIVITIES 1. Pair Work – Make a list of things that seemed to indicate that Billy was expected in the house. 2. Compare and contrast The Landlady with the fairy tale, Hensel and Gretel. 3. Identify textual evidence to show that the landlady is a little bit crazy, according to Billy. PLEASE SCAN FROM ‘The Landlady – Roald Dahl’ - Brit Lit Pg.1 – The Landlady – After Reading One QUESTIONS a. “On carpet in front of the fire …a pretty decent house to stay in.” Why did Billy say that “it would be a pretty decent house to stay in”?


b. “It’s all ready for you, my dear.” With close reference to the text, describe the preparations made by the landlady for her guest. (8m) c. How has the reading of the story taught you that one must cautious and not too trusting. Discuss with close reference to the text. (12m)

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