Both stories have the same themes within. They both prove to contain murder by deceit and both stories main characters are taken advantage of under the influence drugs, which “The Landlady” and “The Old Soldier” had planted. Both of the In both stories the victims are young and are easily fooled by the fact that killers are aged. From the fact that they are aged, the victims believe that they are harmless and don’t cause a physical threat to them.
Which is backed up by the fact that both murderer’s try to gain the trust of there victims by compliments like the one The Landlady said “you have the most beautiful teeth” and “never in my life have I seen such luck” which the Old Soldier complimented on. Both of these compliments are to lead both victims into a false sense of security. Both stories were set at late at night but both at very different settings in History.
The story “A Terribly Strange Bed” was set in the 19th century, 1850’s for the exact date.A Terribly Strange Bed is set in France and is about an English man who had finished his college education who was tired from the rich life and decided to visit a Blackguard. We find that he is rich from the fact that he is an English man who went to college in France. Education was paid for in them days and to go to college in France you had to be rich. In Victorian times people are obsessed with the appearance and social class. In the 19th century you were either rich or poor for there were no social classes in between.The Old Soldier may have done this deed on Mr Faulkner because he was so jealous that he was richer than he was.
The Landlady was set at Later date in the 20th century and to be more accurate the 1960’s. The murderers are both seen as suspicious characters at first but are different things distracting both victims. Mr Faulkner was distracted because he was “gambling drunk” and “If I had been in my sense’s I should of considered him, personally, as being rather a suspicious specimen of an old solider” which also shows that he was distracted.
The Landlady distracted Mr Weaver by her cheap bed and breakfast price’s which we find when it say’s “it was less than half of what he had been willing to pay” In the old soldier they use very archaic language which also reflects the time it was written which was mid 19th century. Mr Falkner’s language reflects his class and social position like when he says “for heavens sake”. Also Wilkie Collins uses French words like “Sacre mille bombes! ” to make the story sound more realistic.While in The Landlady the language is more modern and up-to-date as it is written in the 20th century (1960’s) so it’s also a lot easier to understand. Both characters are very much different. The Old Soldier looked like a tramp and “had the dirtiest hand I had ever seen even in France”.
The Landlady was seen very differently in the eyes of Mr Weaver as he saw her with “a round pink face and very gentle blue eyes” and “she seemed terribly nice . . .
. . .
. stay for the Christmas holidays”. Both murderers use compliments to deceive their victims but the problem is both victim’s ignore it and both see it as harmless.But what they don’t know is that they are both being fooled into a false sense of security and think that they both can be trusted. The Old Soldier fooled Mr Faulkner by encouraging him with the words “go on and win! Break the bank Mille tonnerres! My gallant English comrade, break the bank”.
Also he tells “permit me to restore to the proper place two Napoleons which you have dropped” which is saying he had dropped two coins on the floor and the Old Soldier had picked them up. But I don’t think Mr Faulkner did actually drop any coins and the Old Soldier said he did to gain the trust of him.The Landlady paid compliments to Mr Weaver to show that she meant no harm like “You have the most beautiful teeth, Mr Weaver did you know that? ” and “I open the door and see someone standing there who is just exactly right’ . . .
. . . .. ‘Like you”.
By every compliment she pays to Mr Weaver the more she gains his trust and is some what fooled because he comments “but she was quiet obviously a kind and generous soul”. As he comments he’s still a bit suspicious because he thinks the place is “too perfect”. There were obvious clues in the text to suspect both the Old Soldier and The Landlady of their deeds.The Landlady had a few clues about her from the fact she said, “There wasn’t a blemish on his body” when she was talking about Mr Temple which seemed a little strange. Also she says “But my dear boy he never left. He’s still here.
Mr Temple is also here. They’re on the third floor, both of them together” which implies that they are both there after two years of singing in. There were also other clues like the “Now and then he caught a whiff of a peculiar smell . . . . .
Or was it the corridors of a hospital? ” which may have been the smell of preservatives that she had used to stuff her victims.Another strange thing is how the “Bed And Breakfast” sign which lured him into the place. When he was lured the fact that the price was incredibly cheap may have been another clue. The Old Soldier also gave a few obvious clues one of them being the fact that offered to pay for the first bottle of champagne. After Mr Faulkner had won all this money, which we find when the Old Soldier says “to entreat my valued English friend to drink a bottle of champagne with me”.
Also I found it a bit strange that “the Old Soldier wagged his head . . . .
. . rest of the company present” this obviously meant that tapping his nose like this obviously was a signal for them to leave as they were about to put some sort of drug in his coffee. All these clues were obvious that something was going on in hindsight and would have clearly made the signal that he was in trouble. Same with the old lady mentioning how the two men had been missing for years and she apparently has them on the third floor. Also obvious he was in trouble, as every person who had stayed in the bed and breakfast has never left.
The author of “A Terribly Strange Bed” and “The Landlady” had different views of the unsuspecting characters. Wilkie Collins thought the Old Soldier as “a vagabond” and he mentions that the Old Soldier desevered everything he had coming to him. While Roald Dahl had a lot more sympathy to the Landlady as she is seen upon as a slightly “dotty” old lady and is mentally disturbed. “She had probably lost a son in the war .
. . .
.. Never got over it” so from that Roald Dahl shows sympathy through Mr Weaver and doesn’t know what she is doing when she kills these men.Looking back I think I may have been fooled by maybe some of the clue’s but as soon as he offered to pay for the first bottle of champagne I would have left, as I would feel as if he would be trying to get me drunk and take advantage. In the Landlady, I would feel that it was strange that there were no other guests in the Bed and Breakfast and also how nobody had ever stayed there for 2 years.
I would of finally left as soon as she said that Mr Mulholland and Mr Temple still on the third floor together after remembering they had both gone missing.