Summary: Dissecting The Words Of “The Open Window”

Categories: Plot

Lies, deceit, empowerment, are all things Vera the fifteen-year-old niece of Mrs. Sappleton portrayed over the main character Framton Nuttel. On the recommendation of his doctor, Framton travels to a village to have an effect on therapy for his apprehensive condition. Nuttel's sister has before lived in the place and offers him a letter of introduction to the present. When he arrives, Sappleton’s niece Vera engages him while he sits tight for his host. Vera has a clear creative mind and enjoys weaving stories for her entertainment.

In Saki’s short story “The Open Window” one can take from this, that lies and deceit can give one person empowerment over the others around them by using foreshadowing and symbolism.

Throughout the short story, Saki uses foreshadowing. At the beginning of the story Vera asks Framton Nuttel if he’s familiar with the area or knows anyone in town, he replies “Hardly a soul”. Vera seizes the opportunity to begin weaving her story of lies, knowing that anything she informs him on will be believed as she states “Then you know practically nothing about my Aunt”.

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As the story continues Vera’s delightfulness intensifies. Vera has told Framton, about Mrs. Sappleton’s awful story of losing her husband and siblings while hunting near a small lake where the incident took place. She leaves the window open every afternoon in hopes of her two brothers and husband coming through the French window doors that are wide open. Foreshadowing takes place in this situation as Vera is relaying Mrs.

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Sappleton’s tragic story. As readers we believe it and so does Framton when in truth Vera’s lies actually are giving her the empowerment to change moods and stir up the pot.

Saki also uses symbolism to help develop the theme of the story. In “The Open Window” the most critical symbol is the open window itself. “One year ago today, her husband went hunting with her brothers and never returned”.When Vera relays the tale of the lost hunters to Mr. Nuttel, the open window is symbolizing the pain of Mrs. Sappleton at the loss of her spouse and brothers. The open window no longer symbolizes pain when the truth is later disclosed, but it symbolizes magnitude of her deceit after Vera’s lies are discovered.

The use of symbolism and foreshadowing lets one's imagination run free as Vera knows how to use knowledge of Mrs. Sappelton’s family routine. The audience can feel the lies and outrage that Vera’s deceit has caused. The conclusion of this short story tells us, that Vera enjoys playing with words and entertains herself, which is evident the moment after Mr. Nuttel quickly dashes from seeing the “ghosts” of Vera’s story. This teaches readers that everything you hear is not always true. Vera using her wild imagination by making a grain of truth turn into a wild story for her benefit.

Updated: Feb 27, 2024
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Summary: Dissecting The Words Of “The Open Window”. (2024, Feb 27). Retrieved from

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