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What is the point of view in "The Open Window" and does it change?

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nahila | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

Posted December 12, 2008 at 10:02 AM via web

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What is the point of view in "The Open Window" and does it change?

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ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted December 12, 2008 at 10:25 AM (Answer #1)

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This story is told by an omniscient third person narrator who focuses the story on the reactions of Framton Nuttel to the tale Vera tells him. We can tell the narrator is ominiscient because at the end of the story, Nuttel runs out of the room and the narrator reveals that ''romance at short notice" is Vera's specialty. In other words, Vera loves to make up stories at a moment's notice and then watch people's reactions to them. She continues this after Nuttel leaves with another story about why he left so quickly.

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mrsfinley | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 1, 2009 at 5:15 AM (Answer #1)

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It is told in the 3rd person. As far as I can tell the point of view never changes it is always told in the 3rd person.

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pmiranda2857 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 1, 2009 at 5:26 AM (Answer #2)

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In the beginning of the story, the narration is controlled by Vera, Mrs. Sappleton's niece, she shapes the story, telling Framton Nuttel a tall tale about the open window being a memorial for the lost hunters. Vera is in charge of setting up the deception.

It is Vera who provides the crazy setting in the home, that when Mrs. Sappleton comes into the room to greet Mr. Nuttel, he is already scared half out of his mind thinking that she is a nut and that he is observing the arrival of the ghosts of her husband and brother, along with the dog, returning on the anniversary of their deaths in the bog.

Toward the end of the story, the narration shifts away from Vera and is picked up by Mrs. Sappleton who reflects on why Mr. Nuttel ran out of the house with such speed.

Mr. Nuttel's behavior is perceived as rude and unexpected, since he called on the Sappleton's and then rushes out of the house just as Mrs. Sappleton is getting to know him.  Once Nuttel leaves, the reader gets a chance to learn the truth once the narration shifts from Vera to Mrs. Sappleton. 

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maclo223 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 14, 2010 at 1:58 AM (Answer #3)

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There are two narrative levels:
1st=Omniscient (3rd person point of view)
2nd=Frame story presented by Vera (internal point of view)

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