Language

Style of language

The style of language in the short story “The Landlady” by Roald Dahl is neutral. The vocabulary is mixed. Some of the words are fairly advanced, such as “compulsion ”, “tantalising ”, “rapacious ”, while others are informal, even colloquial, such as “swanky ”, “dotty”, “off her rocker”. We can conclude that the narrative style reflects Billy’s vocabulary and worldview, since the story is told from his perspective. Billy is a teenager, but also a person who wants to appear mature and serious, and his duality is reflected in the style of language. 

In dialogue, the characters express themselves using their own unique voices. The woman addresses Billy with familiarity and affection, using terms such as “ ‘my dear’ ”, “ ‘my dear boy’ ”. Billy addresses the landlady politely, but neutrally, for instance: “ ‘Thank you ever so much’ ”. 

When the notice on the boarding house catches Billy’s eye “in the most peculi...

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