In the short story “The Landlady,” Roald Dahl’s use of foreshadowing prepared readers well for the end of the story. He used hints such as describing the outside of the bed and breakfast, giving details of the entry and the bedroom, and also telling the readers about the living room.
To begin, Dahl used the outside of the bed and breakfast as a use of foreshadowing. The sign was described to be distinctive. It was portrayed to be luring the boy inside. Dahl used the opening of the door as a hint also. He explained that the woman debouched the door open, which would foreshadow that she was abnormal. The woman also had cheap rent at her bed and breakfast. This would draw potential customers in for her awkward service. With these details, he already made the reader believe the woman and the place were creepy.
Next, Dahl moved onto the entry and bedroom setting to give hints to the events to come. The bed had a hot water bottle in it. This was meant to make the lady seem like she was waiting for someone soon, since the bottle was still warm to keep the bed heated. There was also the guest book that had only two other entries. One was Chris Muholland and the other was Gregory Temple. These names sounded familiar to the boy and led to his curiosity of who they were. When the boy remembered where he saw the names before, which was in the newspaper claiming they were missing, it revealed that the men were in the bed and breakfast before they went missing. This made the reader believe that something was discerning about the situation.
Dahl finally summed up the story by conveying an image of the living room. He described a dog and a parrot first. It turned out the animals were stuffed, and the lady taxidermies them herself. At this point in the story, the hints are coming together that not everything is adequate about the place. Her hands were said to be pale, as if they might be lifeless. Dahl used this to explain that she might have gotten discoloration in her hands from using chemicals in her “work” that she does. The tea was finally used as a clue. The lady gave the boy some tea that tasted of bitter almonds. The use of this information declared that something was in the tea to make it have an odd taste. These clues helped the reader realize that the boy was not going to be leaving that place again.
Roald Dahl used good hints in this story to foreshadow the ending. Some clues were easy to catch, others you had to think about, but that’s what made the story appealing. It breaks it down well by letting you think at the beginning, and then having it all come together in the end. He used his techniques well, and used foreshadowing well through the entire story.