The Landlady had a round pink face and gentle blue eyes, one of the reasons that attracted Billy to stay and the Bed and Breakfast. The Landlady’s smile made Billy feel more at home and more welcome, however her behaviour was slightly strange. “She was about forty-five or fifty years old, and the moment she saw him, she gave him a warm welcoming smile…She had a round pink face and very gentle blue eyes…But this dame was like a jack-in-the-box. He pressed the bell and out she popped! The old girl is slightly dotty, Billy told himself…” This shows that a person should always trust their instincts and should not trust in anyone if there is even a shadow of doubt. The Landlady seems like a very nice and compassionate lady, however, she acts slightly strange. Her caring behaviour towards Billy builds his trust in her and her appearance also contributes to Billy believing and trusting in her further. The Landlady’s embracing personality and demeanour convinces Billy to stay at the Bed and Breakfast.
Billy notices her strange and queer behaviour but he dismisses it after considering the cost of staying at the Bed and Breakfast. The Landlady also emphasises certain words that cause us to suspect her. “…she gave him a warm welcoming smile… ‘My dear boy,’ she said, ‘why don’t you come in out of the cold? …She seemed terribly nice. She looked exactly like the mother of one’s best friend welcoming one into the house to stay for the Christmas holidays… The old girl is slightly dotty, Billy told himself.
But at five and sixpence a night, who gives a damn about that? … ‘We have it all to ourselves’ … ‘…and we don’t want to go breaking any laws at this stage in the proceedings, do we? ” This shows that a person should always be alert and aware of his/her surroundings. Towards the end of the story, we discover that the Landlady is not as nice as she seems, but is actually a very cruel and harsh lady. The Landlady carries out acts of extreme cruelty by killing her pets and guests with bitter almonds (that contain cyanide) that is mixed in the tea.
She then stuffs them, so they appear lifelike and keeps their bodies. This behaviour contradicts her personality completely as she is not the trustworthy and caring lady that was described earlier in the book. It also creates a sense of trepidation as she admits her previous two guests hadn’t left and were, in fact, living on the third floor. “I stuff all my little pets myself when they pass away…The tea tasted faintly of bitter almonds, and he didn’t care much for it… ‘But my dear boy, he never left. He’s still here. Mr Temple is also here.
They’re on the third floor, both of them together. ” This shows that a person should not be judged by their appearance, and also that we shouldn’t trust a person instantly, from their first meeting. To conclude, the Landlady is an owner of a Bed and Breakfast who seems like a very considerate and caring woman, from the way she greets and takes care of Billy. However, her brutal and barbarous side is shown towards the end when she poisons Billy and suggests he will be stuffed as well. Bibliography; The Landlady – by Roald Dahl