The Open Window by Saki Essay
The story concerns a very self- insecure man trying to woo a self-possessed young lady of fifteen who does her best to get rid of the man by making up a story which terrifies the man into leaving the house. The story is quite a humorous event ending with a denouement.By just looking at the title, the readers immediately get the idea that the story and theme has something to do with an open window.
Normally a theme associated with an open window would be seen as a theme of possibility and new experience, but in this passage it is seen as a theme of deception and lies, as through the open window Vera lies to get rid of Frampton.The author uses very complicated language to describe simple actions. This creates the effect that the event occurred in a bigger time frame than it actually did. Saki’s skill of using language is portrayed through adjectives like “treacherous piece of bog”, verbs such as “laboured under the tolerably widespread delusion” and the brilliant control he has over the vocabulary he uses. He completely leaves the readers in the dark by limiting their point of view to that of Mr Nuttel only to surprise his audience in the denouement. The great detail found throughout the passage makes it very vivid and easier for the reader to imagine the situation.
The major characters in this passage are Framton and Vera, Mrs Sappleton’s niece. A contrast of characters is greatly shown between these two people; Vera, a very self-possessed being who is just fifteen years old and who lies to get her way and Framton, a very self-insecure young man who is very honest about his surroundings and orders the doctor gave him about some illness he might have had. The fact that Saki keeps repeating that Vera is self-possessed makes it a very important aspect in this passage as this helps the audience understand the denouement better. The name Vera can be associated with verity which can be a contradiction in the story considering the fact that Vera lies and is dishonest throughout the passage.Framton is the laughing stock of this humorous event; he is made to look like a fool. Mr Framton Nuttel is quite a ridiculous name for a man and this makes it even more entertaining.
The fact that Mr Nuttel is put in a very awkward and misfortunate situation makes the readers laugh because they are glad that they are not in the same situation and this makes it quite funny for them. The last sentence can be seen as a sarcastic interpretation indicating that Vera’s actions show the exact opposite of what the sentence states.At first the passage seems to be quite a poignant event for the reader as the audience is made to feel sympathy for Mrs Sampton. This feeling of sympathy and sadness clearly shows the power the author has over the audience’s feelings when later on the reader finds out that it was all a lie intended to scare Framton away.The theme, characterization, use of vocabulary and humour all contribute to the passage making it a very entertaining piece of writing.
. It truly takes a talented writer to create such a vivid image through his choice of words. One would not note the humour in the passage just by reading it once; the denouement makes the reader give the passage a second reading.