"The Open Window" By Saki Essay

958 words - 4 pages

The short story "The Open Window" by Saki gives us a marvelous example of how appearance, semblance and our naivety can distract our attention from reality and even make harm to our health. This story also shows how a writer can make perfect use of irony."The Open Window" is a story about deception, perpetrated on an unsuspecting, and constitutionally nervous man, Mr. Nuttel. He comes to the country in order to cure his nervous condition. He pays a visit to the home of Mrs. Sappleton to introduce himself. Mr. Nuttel is intercepted by her niece, who, while they are waiting for her aunt, regales him with an artful story that, in the end, only makes his nervous condition worse.In the story under consideration I would single out the following types of conflict: an external and an internal one. The internal conflict is a conflict within Mr. Nuttel himself, between the feelings he experienced.The external conflict represents differences between generations. The author contrasts two worlds: that of young people and that of adults. The world of adults is full of prejudices, stringent rules and fears; youthfulness is at the same time full of imagination, inspiration and creativity. Humorous repercussions of the story are caused by the anticipation of the superiority of the child, while controlling the adults. The young girl managed to make fool of five people and what is more, of millions and millions of readers. Towards the end of the story we are unaware of the author's intentions. At first we are inclined to laugh at Mr. Nuttel for being so gullible. We cannot even imagine that we are victims of the very same hoax that Vera perpetrates on Mr. Nuttel; that we have believed Vera's well-told and interesting tale.The author makes use of the third person narrator. He does not interfere for any comments or reflections of the events and does not help the readers to form their own impressions and make their own judgements. And we can conclude that this kind of narrator is an unreliable one, because the readers cannot understand the main irony till the very end of the story.The protagonists of the story are characterized both directly and indirectly. With the help of indirect means of characterization, thoughts, words and actions of Mr.Nuttel, we understand that he is a tactful, delicate and sympathetic man who "endeavored to say the correct something", sympathized with "the great tragedy" of Mrs. Sappleton. From his sister's words "you'll bury yourself down there and not speak to a living soul" we realize that Mr. Nuttel is quite an unsociable and a withdrawn person who either likes loneliness and prefers it to communication with other people or is afraid of them. The reason of Mr. Nuttel's coming to this village makes us think that he is a very nervous man.The niece of Mrs....

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