The Open Window Questions and Answers
by Saki

The Open Window book cover
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How does the title of Saki's "The Open Window" relate to the story's theme?

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The French window standing open gives Vera the inspiration for her ghost story. She hints that if the three hunters were actually to return, as she claims her aunt has expected them to do for the past three years, they would have to enter through that window directly into the living room. This would be unusual behavior because, even if the men had only been gone for one day, as the aunt believes, they would have muddy boots and probably enter through a side door into a little pantry or some such room where they could remove their boots. Saki had to establish that the men were used to entering the living room directly from outdoors and that Vera's aunt didn't mind having the carpeting tracked with mud. 

"I hope you don't mind the open window," said Mrs. Sappleton briskly; "my husband and brothers will be home directly from shooting, and they always come in this way. They've been out for snipe in the marshes today, so they'll make a fine mess over my poor carpets. So like you menfolk,...

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