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Open window analysis

Open window analysis
The story Open Window was written by Saki,
English writer and journalist of the end of 19
century, who mostly wrote short satire stories.
The story is about a young man who wanted to
cure his nerves in a quiet peaceful place
somewhere in the countryside. Firstly, he visited
the house of a woman, who his sister gave a letter
to. So, while he was waiting for the woman, her
niece was telling him a tragedy about the woman’s
husband, three sons and their dog, who went out
of the window as usual to go shooting three years
ago, but sank in the swamp and were now dead.
Finally the woman came, they started talking when
her husband and all her three sons were coming
towards the house. The young man was frightened
and rushed out of the house. The only person who
knew why he had done it - the woman’s niece said that probably the young man was afraid of
The action takes place in a rural location,
probably in the countryside. We don’t know the
exact time, but we can presume that it is the end of
the 19th century, the time when Saki lived. Type of
narration is third person limited, because we know
only the thoughts of the main character.
The story is subdivided into some logical parts.
The exposition reveals the reasons why Mr Nuttel
went to the place and the reason for his visit to the
house. In complication the young lady told him
about the tragedy, her aunt seems to continue it
and the climax is reached when all four men and a
dog appear on the horizon. Resolution explains
how the other participant of the story understood
the behaviour of the young man.
The plot of the story is mainly centered on the
young man - Framton Nuttel, who is implicitly
shown by the author. In the beginning he is
depicted as a melancholic, a man of few words,
but polite and well-mannered. In the end he was
shocked and stressed because of that improvised
story of the niece and seeing literally ghosts. Thus
he is a round and dynamic character.
The niece of the woman is a 15 year old young
lady, she is described with the help of repeated
epithet self-possessed which the author further
changes to the word “the child”. She is also implicitly
characterized by the author as an attentive lady
with vivid imagination and gallows humor. She is
also a good actress, because till the end we don’t
know about her false expressions and gestures
that she used during their conversation. Once the
author used aposiopesis to point out the feelings of
her: . Do you know, sometimes on still, quiet evenings like
this, I almost get a creepy feeling that they will all walk in
through that window - " She broke off with a little shudder?”.
a nutshell, she is a round and static character,
because, in the end of the story she continued her
Other characters are minor, they appear only
in episodes. They are Mrs Sappleton, her husband
and three sons. Though, in the middle of the story
readers can think that Mrs Sappleton is out of her
mind because she is waiting for her dead husband
with sons, but later we understand that her
behaviour is rather rational.
Overall the tone of the story is satirical and
humorous. The author used situational irony, we
as readers couldn’t predict such an unexpected
end of the story. So to support the tone the author
used some clues throughout the story "I hope Vera
has been amusing you?" she said” which is a rather ironic
sentence in the context of what we read about
their dialogue. Also we can see emotionally
coloured lexis : “bolted out”, “dashed off” to emphasize
the strange actions of Mr Nuttel. Saki used a lot of
epithets “restful country”, “dreadful part”, “falteringly human”,
“a desperate but only partially successful effort” “sympathetic
comprehension”, “nameless fear”
and oxymoron “silent
communion” to show the atmosphere of calm
countryside where this awful tragedy took place
and then the scare and horror of the young man.
Mood of the story is accordingly calm, pensive
and sympathetic at the beginning and laughable
close to the end.
The theme of the story is playing with the
emotions of others. The idea is that playing with
other people's emotions is a behaviour more of a
child than of an adult. The message is that you
should treat other people's feelings with respect if
you want to be perceived as a grown-up.
From my perspective mocking at others even
with humour is cruel. If I see the person being
made fun of I choose to tell him the truth before
the person takes the situation too seriously.
Certainly, it needs empathy from me to keep track
of the point when the person gets upset, anxious
or stressed. I believe that there is enough stress in
our live and that there is no need to add more to