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The Open Danger Essay

1064 words - 5 pages

One may ask “Why do we have to attend English classes when we can already speak and write?” Well, the reason is to master the skills of writing a good argument, which we expect to learn in English classes. In our lives, everything we do comes with reasons, so that we can justify our actions. This applies to different genres of literature as well; in the ghost stories genre, authors attempt to scare, teach moral lessons or entertain through their writings. Even each ghost story has its own significant purpose. In the ghost story, “The Open Window”, Saki deliberately replaces ghosts with a human character who manipulates truths in order to prove the ultimate danger of the unpredictability of ...view middle of the document...

But, it was just Vera telling stories. Vera, the lying human character decides to make up a story about her “dead” uncle and aunt’s brothers, who will walk through this large French window, which is always kept open (595). Saki effectively uses Vera’s character in place of a ghost.
This shows how human behavior is very unpredictable. According to Art Markman, a cognitive science Ph.D. holder, we make predictions based on beliefs about other people’s behavior and sometimes people do things outside our expectations; unpredictability is a fundamental part of human nature. The author of the story, Saki is very unpredictable when he is writing the story as well, thus making the story very unpredictable. “The Open Window” is listed under the ghost story genre in the ENWR 1510 course reader, so readers might anticipate the presence of a ghost but due to the unpredictability, there is actually no ghost at all even though the story was rather eerie.
Due to the unpredictability of human behavior, this makes things dangerous. Not being able to predict what others think or will do can lead to ultimate danger. In “The Open Window”, Framton, who is suffering from an anxiety disorder, will not have expected Vera to lie to him on their first encounter. He is frightened out of his skin by Vera’s lies and his health probably deteriorated because he thinks that he has encountered ghosts.
Ghosts are also unpredictable. Nobody will be able to predict when ghosts will appear or what ghosts will do. In the story, from Framton’s point of view, he will not have expected the “ghosts” to appear right after Vera tells him the story about her “dead” uncles and aunt’s brothers. He will not have anticipated that he will be in the house at that “coincidental” time and he will not be able to guess what the “ghosts” might do to him since the “ghosts” are unpredictable.
Because ghosts are unpredictable, Saki highlights the unpredictability of the dishonest human character in the story. Framton will not have anticipated that Vera will be able to pull off such an exaggerated so convincingly and that she can act...

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