"The Landlady" and Other Short Stories

A Rose for the Landlady: A Dissection of the Affections of the Dahl and Faulkner’s Macabre Murderesses College

Roald Dahl and William Faulkner explore the curious connection between love and death through their tales of passion-induced murder. Dahl's "The Landlady" and Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" are remarkably similar, but diverge on key elements of the narrative, namely the differences between the love Miss Emily shows Homer Barron and the “love” the Landlady shows her victims. By juxtaposing these works and analyzing “The Landlady” through the context of its differences to “A Rose for Emily,” it becomes apparent that, unlike Miss Emily, the Landlady does not love her victims. Instead, she idolizes their beauty without regard to their identities as people.

To begin, the difference in setting establishes both Emily’s love for her victim and the Landlady’s lack of love for her victims. The Landlady has created a trap; everything about her lodgings is meant to be charming and inviting. Upon seeing animals through the window, Billy notes that “Animals were usually a good sign in a place like this” (Dahl 1), but the animals are purposefully placed, acting as lures. Her sincerity is as much a facade as the stuffed pets that decorate her establishment. In parallel, the Grierson house is entirely private to all but Miss Emily, her servant...

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