Roald Dahl demonstrates the vast differences between how things appear to be and how things really are in most of his stories. The BFG is a good example of this, a big monstrous giant with a kind and generous soul. The three stories I am going to be looking at in detail are: The Landlady, Neck, and Lamb to the Slaughter and they all fall into the category of comic grotesque. In this essay I aim to show how this effect is achieved.
Commencing with The Landlady this story is about a young man who is lured into staying at a seemingly cosy B&B, his fate is only hinted at but the reader gets the distinct impression that she has poisoned him with cyanide and will stuff him as she has done to her 2 pets and as it is also hinted at, her two previous tenants.
Billy Weaver is shown to be a brisk young boy “he walked briskly down the street. He was trying to do everything briskly these days. Briskness, he had decided, was the one common characteristic of all successful businessmen.” Through Dahl’s use of repetition and as the story develops the reader begins to realise how naïve and trusting Billy really is.
His landlady however is the ‘villain’ in this tale, at first she appears to be a “kind and generous soul” who is merely “slightly off her rocker” and with this she successfully lures Billy into her home without as much as the slightest suspicion, this is shown by this quote, “After all, she was not only harmless – there was no question about that”. However this is more demonstrative of Billy’s naivety as the average reader would begin to suspect something, even if it wasn’t the truth, from her jack-in-a-box-like appearance and the absence of any other coats or hats on the stand.
Roald Dahl offers a believable explanation for the absence of any other coats “I’m inclined to be just a teeny weeny bit choosy and particular”, he then offers another for her many weird quirks, “she had probably... [continues]
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