Essay Review: The Landlady by Roald Dahl

Essay by hanideeHigh School, 10th grade October 2014

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The text selected was the short story entitled "The Landlady" written by Roald Dahl. There are some relevant theories of criticism in this short story which are feminism theory and psychoanalytic theory.

The gender theory is the most relevant theory of criticism and the most effective in this short story. It is shown in three perspectives of the author himself, Billy Weaver which is the young boy, and from our view.

According to the author, Roald Dahl, he just presented the character of the old lady as "the landlady". She has no name given to her and it shown that at that particular period of time, a lady is just known by their common duty. As for the example, it is shown in page 30, paragraph 3, "Now, the fact that this landlady appeared to be slightly off her rocker didn't worry Billy in the least".

There is no name stated to refer to this old lady. It is just the "landlady". Since women are not the important role at that time, thus, any character involving women written at this time will have no name.

Other than that, the author also portrayed the landlady as Damsel in Distress. This is because the landlady's behavior and action were brought on years of loneliness and that the landlady resorted to killing because she thought that it is the only way her companion would stay with her. The theory of gender criticism applied in this event of describing the landlady as Damsel in Distress. From the way it is written, the landlady may be live in the house alone for years. As a woman, she must be lonely and she needs someone as companion. Thus, by killing those young boys who came for renting room, she could keep them...