Elements Of Suspense: The Landlady Essay

1398 words - 6 pages

What are the elements used by the writer to create suspense in the story?
1. Character of the landlady - She seems "off her rocker", odd, peculiar, too motherly, she is prepared for a visitor
- She seemed terribly nice. She looked exactly like the mother of one's best school-friend welcoming her into the house to stay for the Christmas holidays."

- Is peculiar, overdoing things like giving Billy a welcoming warm smile, offering the room at a fantastically cheap price and becoming terribly nice like a motherly figure, helping Billy with a coat etc

- She is telling Billy to sign the guest book ”because it’s the law of the land, and we don’t want to go ...view middle of the document...

And it is such a pleasure, my dear, such a very great pleasure when now and again I open the door and I see someone standing there who is just exactly right.”
“I’m so glad you appeared,” she said, looking earnestly into his face. “I was
beginning to get worried.”
-

2. The setting - The old, creepy town, the lack of guests, no umbrellas in the hallway, stuffed animals

• Bath was an old creepy town with no shops on the wide street that Billy was walking along, Once swanky tall residences had paint peeling off from the woodwork of their doors and the handsome white façades were cracked and blotchy from neglect.

• Billy arrived at Bath about nine o’clock in the evening and the moon was coming up out of a clear starry sky over the houses opposite the station entrance. But the air was deadly cold and the wind was like a flat blade of ice on his cheeks.

• In the story these supernatural powers seem to be present. Billy’s inability to walk away, after making a conscious decision to leave, demonstrates some sort of will-bending ability of the woman. (Pg 125 par 3) After Billy rings the door, the woman instantly answers; suggesting some sort of foresight

“Please come in,” she said pleasantly. She stepped aside, holding the door wide
open, and Billy found himself automatically starting forward into the house. The compulsion or, more accurately, the desire to follow after her into that house was extraordinarily strong.

“your just the type,” she is not only recognizing Billy’s physical appearance, but also his spiritual vulnerability.

• When Billy goes in the boarding house, there were no other hats or coats in the
hall. There were no umbrellas, no walkingsticks – nothing.

• Things seemed to be ready and the landlady was all prepared for her next victim.
“Thank you,” Billy said. “Thank you ever so much.” He noticed that the bedspread
had been taken off the bed, and that the bedclothes had been neatly turned back
on one side, all ready for someone to get in.

• The animals in boarding house were stuffed and Billy got fooled by that.

“That parrot,” he said at last. “You know something? It had me completely fooled
when I first saw it through the window from the street. I could have sworn it was alive.”

She nodded towards the dachshund curled up so comfortably in front of the fire. Billy looked at it. And suddenly, he realised that this animal had all the time been just as silent and motionless as the parrot. He put out a hand and touched it gently on the top of its back. The back was hard and cold, and when he pushed the hair to one side with his fingers, he could see the skin underneath, greyish-black and dry and perfectly preserved.

other Elements

The 2 men Billy cannot seem to recall - Temple and Mulholland, they are still in the boarding house, they were the headlines for some...

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