The Landlady Discussion Questions

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

Written by Roald Dahl, 'The Landlady' is a short horror story about a shocking visit to a bed and breakfast. This asset contains classroom discussion questions about this story.

'The Landlady'

Roald Dahl's 'The Landlady' is a popular short story that was originally published in The New Yorker in 1959. Students will discover that appearances can be deceiving as they read this entertaining horror story. The questions in this asset will guide classroom discussions about this story.

Billy's Decision

The questions in this section will help students better understand Billy's character and internal conflict about where to spend his first night in town.

  • What are some changes that are happening in Billy Weaver's life? What are some mixed feelings you have when embarking on a new adventure?
  • Describe the setting of the story. What are some ways the bed and breakfast contrasts with the rest of the buildings on the street? Why might Billy be enticed by this setting?
  • Why does Weaver feel conflicted about where to stay the night? What are the benefits and drawbacks of staying at a pub compared to a boarding house? Why do you think the porter recommended the pub? How does Weaver make his decision? When you are not sure about a decision, how do you make your choice?
  • Billy seems supernaturally drawn to the boarding house. Have you ever had a strong instinct to do something? What happened when you followed your instincts? How do you decide when to use your heart and when to use your head?

Red Flags

This section contains questions that will explore Billy's experience at the boarding house.

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