What are themes of the short story "The Landlady" by Roald Dahl?

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Theme refers to a universal idea or message that runs throughout a story. A story may have more than one theme, or a major (central) theme and other sub- or alternative themes, which may or may not be linked to the central theme.

We find a number of themes in the story, The Landlady, by Roald Dahl.

The central theme is deception. The landlady appears to be a good soul, kind-hearted, caring, generous and, most importantly, benign. She easily deceives Billy Weaver and he is taken in by her seemingly innocuous appearance and gentle, kind words as illustrated in the following lines:

She was about forty-five or fifty years old, and the moment she saw him, she gave him a warm welcoming smile.
"Please come in,” she said pleasantly.

She had a round pink face and very gentle blue eyes.

She seemed terribly nice. She looked exactly like the mother of one’s best school friend welcoming one into the house to stay for the Christmas holidays.

She looked up at him out of the corners of her eyes and gave him...

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