The Sinister Truth in Roald Dahl’s story “The Landlady”

The Sinister Truth in Roald Dahl’s story “The Landlady”

Ruma Banerjee

Ruma Banerjee "The Sinister Truth in Roald Dahl’s story “The Landlady”" Published in International Journal of Trend in Research and Development (IJTRD), ISSN: 2394-9333, Volume-11 | Issue-1 , February 2024, URL:

“The Landlady” by Roald Dhal is a dark story where deception and evil lurks in every nook and corner behind the charade of hospitality and generosity. If considered from the perspective of Indian mythology and culture, the concept of “Atithi Devo Bhava” has been thoroughly violated here in this story. The host, The Landlady, is the Yama, the god of death, and Billy Weaver unknowingly gets entangled in her conspiracies and is trapped in the den of death. The warm exterior of the inn and the friendly attitude of the landlady are very welcoming but they only constitute the appearance; for the landlady’s trickery and deception comprise the reality of the situation. The story draws on parallel with certain European folk tales which start with young children being taken in by supposedly well-meaning grownups (“Hansel and Gretel” or “Babes in the Wood” being prime examples). The youthful innocence of Billy Weaver does not allow him to think that there is anything sinister about the landlady. Being barely out of school, the young man does not have a thought that there is anything ominous in his situation. He seems to be unaware of the dark side of the real world. Through him, we see the way in which the good and innocent are taken advantage of by wicked and devious minds.

Deception, Sinister, Trickery, Conspiracies

Volume-11 | Issue-1 , February 2024


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