"The Landlady" and Other Short Stories

"The Landlady" and Other Short Stories Irony

Judson and the Mamba (Dramatic Irony)

Dramatic irony runs through "An African Story," as the audience and the old man know that a mamba is stealing milk from the old man's cow, but Judson does not. The old man instructs Judson to hide beside the cow and to catch "the boy" that is stealing the cow's milk, setting Judson up to be murdered by the mamba. While the reader knows that Judson is about to be killed, Judson is unaware of this.

The taxidermied pets (Situational Irony)

When Billy looks into the window of the Landlady's home, he sees a warm environment with a sleeping dog curled up on the carpet and a parrot in its cage. At the end of "The Landlady," the audience learns that the parrot and dachshund are both stuffed, an unexpected twist in the story.

"Probably right under our noses" (Situational Irony)

As the policemen search for the murder weapon used to kill Mary's husband in "Lamb for the Slaughter," Mary feeds them the murder weapon. When one of the policemen comments that the murder weapon is likely right under their noses (which they mean in a figurative way), this statement is ironic as the murder weapon is the leg of lamb, which is, unexpectedly, literally under their noses.

"Oh no, Mr. Bohlen. No." (Verbal Irony)

In this quote, Knipe responds to Bohlen's question about whether anything is bothering him with a "no," even though it is obvious and evident that the exact opposite is true.