Compare the ‘Old soldier’ in A Terribly Strange Bed with the Landlady in Dahl’s story. What are the similarities and differences between them? In this assignment I hope to tell you about the Landlady and the Old soldier. Their similarities and differences, and descriptions (both physically and mentally) which may have lead us to suspect them. Both the Old soldier and Landlady deceived their victims before attempting to kill them.
The Landlady deceives her victim (Billy Weaver) by attracting him to the Bed and Breakfast, with the wonderful pussy willows, a bright burning fire to make the place look cosy, and a pretty little daschund which is dead, but stuffed so people think it is real, ” I stuff all my pets myself when they pass away. ” Said the Landlady. The Bed and Breakfast was filled with pleasant furniture, and animals, which made Billy, think it was a good sign and a decent place to stay in.
The Old soldier deceives the English man by acting as though he is his friend and encouraging him to keep playing, ” Go on, sir-sacre milk bombs! Go on boldly, and break the bank! ” Said the Old soldier. This is strong evidence showing the Old soldier encourage the English man to keep playing, but not for the English mans benefit, but for the Old soldiers benefit. Another similarity between both of them is that they’re experienced in what they do, and have killed people before, and got away with it. The Landlady has killed two people, Christopher Mullholland and Gregory W. Temple.
The Old soldier has obviously killed many people with the bedstead, just for their money. He takes his victims out for a drink, gets them drunk, and then offers for a place for them to stay the night, where he will suffocate them, and take their money. Another similarity is that at first both the Old soldier and the Landlady seem to be kind and generous. There is evidence that the Landlady is kind and generous, ” After all, she was not only harmless-there was no question about that-but she was also quite obviously a kind and generous soul.
” This is strong evidence from the text to show that the Landlady was acting friendly, and being kind and generous, at first. There is also evidence to show that the Old soldier was friendly and caring, ” What remains for me to do? I ask what? Simply this: to entreat my valued English friend to drink a bottle of champagne with me,” Said the Old soldier. This is also strong evidence to prove that the Old soldier treats him well and offers him a drink. He even calls him ‘valued English friend’ which shows that he values him very highly.
We as readers, suspect that all is not what it seam’s however. One of the differences between the Landlady and the Old soldier is, that the Old soldier approaches his victims, ” Shortly after he had gone a hoarse voice behind me came… ” Whereas the Landladies victims come to her, but the strange thing is that she has everything ready for Billy and knows that he’s coming, ” It’s all ready for you my dear. ” This shows that she is expecting Billy. A very obvious difference between the Landlady and the Old soldier is that the Landlady is a female,
” Landlady. ” And the Old soldier is a male. However this still doesn’t stop the Landlady from killing Billy Weaver and her other victims. Just because all her victims (so far) were males, we as readers would expect her to be a little frightened, but she obviously wasn’t. Another difference is that the Old soldier had people in on the secret of the bedstead, and to helped him to suffocate his victims, and rob them, ” The croupier, another accomplice, and the women who had made my cup of coffee were all in the secret of the bedstead.
” Whereas the Landlady did everything herself. She had no one to help or to be her accomplice. The Old soldier kills and steals from his victims for their money, this is a difference. He encourages them to keep winning and at the end of the day he kills them for money. The Landlady is totally different and strange. She kills her victims, and then just stuffs them and takes them upstairs, where she stores them for years. The Old soldier got caught at the end when he attempted to kill the English man.
Whereas the Landlady didn’t, this is a major difference. And also shows that the Landlady is very clever and doesn’t leave much evidence behind. In part’s of the story, we as readers, suspect the Old soldier, but we don’t know what to suspect. However, the Landlady is quiet and friendly, so we didn’t suspect her at first because we think she is an ordinary Landlady. But later on in the story we start to suspect her, such as when she mentioned Christopher Mullholland and Gregory W. Temple, she was confused and kept trying to change the subject.