Suspense In The Landlady

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Short stories that depict suspense draw the readers in and bring anxiety along with suspension into the story. Authors use literary elements to represent the idea that they are trying to point out. In the short story “The Landlady,” by Roald Dahl, Billy Weaver, a young 17 year old man, came across a boarding house named “Bed and Breakfast,” but he didn’t know that it would lead to his death. Although, in the short story by Edgar Allan Poe, "A Tell-Tale Heart," the narrator kills an old man because of his “Evil Eye” since it had “vexed” him. He had finally confessed to the officers of the killing, after becoming paranoid from the noise of the man’s beating heart stuck in his ears. Therefore, suspense is depicted in both Roald Dahl’s short …show more content…
In "The Landlady," Dahl writes, “I stuff all my little pets myself when they pass away.” The author uses italics to emphasize the word “all” to grab the reader’s attention to notice that something strange is going on. The reader can infer based on this quote that Billy will be killed and stuffed later on by the landlady as well as that something is not right about the landlady. In addition, this leaves the reader wondering why the landlady stuffs her pets, which brings anxiety. This could relate to the idea of suspense being shown in the short story, "A Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe. In "A Tell-Tale Heart," the narrator states, “Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees—very gradually—I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever.” Thus, by including the details, “... to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever,” the narrator demonstrates suspense by the idea of the old man being killed. Furthermore, the narrator is creating tension for the readers by using diction that demonstrates tone. The narrator says that he is going to “… take the life of the old man...” Alternatively, the description of the settings also conveys suspense in the two short …show more content…
In "The Landlady," Billy notices a dachshund sleeping in front of the fireplace. In particular, Dahl states, “His landlady wasn’t there, but the fire was glowing in the hearth, and the little dachshund was still sleeping in front of it. The room was wonderfully warm and cosy.” Although, dogs have an incredible sense that makes them realize when a human being is near them. This results in the dog awaking. As a result, the reader can infer that something is not right about the dachshund and creates suspensions. Secondly, Dahl makes the description of the living room too good to be true. Similarly, "A Tell-Tale Heart," also depicts suspense by the use of the description of settings. In "A Tell-Tale Heart," the following line, “His room was as black as pitch with the thick darkness (for the shutters were close fastened, through fear of robbers), and so I knew that he could not see the opening of the door, and I kept it on pushing steadily, steadily,” demonstrates the idea of suspense shown through the use of the description of settings. The following detail, “His room was as black as pitch with the thick darkness…” displays an overwhelming feeling. Thus, by including the detail of the room, Poe makes the reader nervous by describing a frightening setting. In a like manner, these two short stories reveal how suspense is depicted by the use of the description of settings. Despite that

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