What is the complicating incident, theme, and climax of "The Landlady" by Roald Dahl?
It sounds like you are filling out a plot diagram for the short story "The Landlady." Check out the video linked below for more on plot diagrams. As a quick review, plot diagrams are a visual representation of the plot of a story. As the story starts, you have the events of the exposition, or the explanation of who the characters are, where the story takes place, etc. The exposition ends with an inciting incident or complicating incident - something that happens that will change things for the character(s).
In "The Landlady," the complicating incident would be when Billy Weaver, looking for a place to stay the night, is compelled to ring the bell at a bed and breakfast, even though he had just made up his mind to stay at the pub instead. The story describes how the "Bed and Breakfast" sign pulls Billy in:
"Each word was like a large black eye staring at him through the glass, holding him, compelling him, forcing him to stay where he was and not to walk away from that house, and the next thing he knew, he was actually moving across from the window to the front door of the house, climbing the steps that led up to it, and reaching for the bell" (paragraph 11).
This is the complicating incident because this is when the story takes a weird turn. Up until now, Billy was just an ordinary young man, with an ordinary job, looking for a room. Now there is an element of intrigue, of danger, even of the supernatural.
After the inciting incident in a plot diagram comes the rising action. These are the series of events that up the main conflict. In "The Landlady," events in the rising action would include the landlady having a room ready for Billy, Billy reading the names in her guest book and trying to remember them, etc.
The events of the rising action lead up to the climax of the story – the point of greatest excitement and interest for the reader, when the conflict will be decided, one way or another.
In "The Landlady," the story structure is a bit unusual. One...
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