Suspense In The Landlady

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Readers enjoy noticing suspense in stories because it hooks them on to read the rest of the story. In “The Landlady” by Roald Dahl, a man named Billy Weaver stays at a bed & breakfast and meets the Landlady. The Landlady is an odd woman. She appears as a kind and generous soul, but on the inside she is an evil and despicable lady with bone-chilling plans for Billy. In Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart”, the old man had no problems with the narrator. The narrator actually liked the old man, but the level of insanity in the narrator’s head leads him to committing a horrific, gruesome act. Therefore, suspense is depicted in both Roald Dahl’s “The Landlady” and Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” through the use of symbolism and descriptive …show more content…
In “The Landlady”, descriptive language creating suspense is uncovered when Dahl writes, “He stood by the piano, watching her as she fussed about with the cups and saucers. He noticed that she had small, white, quickly moving hands, and red finger nails.” This describes the setting of the B&B and the appearance of the Landlady. In “The Tell-Tale Heart”, by Poe, descriptive language forms suspense from this quote from the narrator, “If you still think me mad, you will think so no longer when I describe the wise precautions I took for the concealment of the body. The night waned, and I worked hastily, but in silence. First of all I dismembered the corpse. I cut off the head and the arms and the legs. I then took up three planks from the flooring of the chamber, and deposited all between the scantlings. I then replaced the boards so cleverly, so cunningly, that no human eye--not even his—could have detected anything wrong. There was nothing to wash out--no stain of any kind--no bloodspot whatever. I had been to wary for that. A tub had caught all--ha! Ha!” That long, yet descriptive quote directly cracks open the fact that the narrator is insane and psychotic and obsessed with committing a gruesome act like the one in the story. Thus, suspense is depicted in both Roald Dahl’s short story “The Landlady” and Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” through the use of symbolism and descriptive language. That is why readers are so entertained when they read a suspenseful story. It hooks them on to

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