The Landlady (Roald Dahl) Themes & Motifs

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Obsession

Dahl uses the landlady’s character to explore the qualities of an obsessive personality, which intensifies Billy and the landlady’s relationship and adds depth to the plot.

Dahl first introduces the landlady’s obsessive nature when she first enters the story. When Billy first rings the doorbell of the bed and breakfast, the landlady opens the door “at once” (4). This implies that she has been waiting at the door for Billy to arrive. The excessive eagerness with which the landlady receives Billy at the door suggests that the landlady is overly excited about Billy’s arrival. Although this is a minor sign of the landlady’s obsessiveness, it introduces this quality in the landlady’s personality.

The landlady’s dialogue also highlights her obsessive nature. When she welcomes Billy into the establishment, she refers to the bed and breakfast as “my little nest” (5). This metaphor...

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This section contains 1,144 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Landlady (Roald Dahl) Study Guide
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