What is the main conflict in the short story "The Open Window" by Saki, and how is the main conflict resolved? 

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The main conflict in "The Open Window" by Saki is the nebulous line between imagination and reality.

This blurring of the lines of reality and imagination generated by Vera, whose "specialty" is "[R]omance at short notice," is the main conflict because it is the one which produces the internal struggles of Framton Nuttel. Further, this conflict effects Nuttel's discomfiture and fears, which, in turn, effect his final desperate act of panic.

In this witty and mischievous story by Saki, it is a fragile Framton Nuttel who arrives at the Sappleton home in the country for a "rural retreat" meant to help heal his shattered nerves. Ironically, however, Nuttel has the misfortune of being entertained by Mrs. Sappleton's niece. deceptively named Vera. For, it is her confluence of truth with reality that lends a macabre conclusion to her tall-tale. And, this act of Vera of blurring the line between imagination and reality causes the nervous Nuttel to break down as he witnesses the real-life return of the Sappleton men through the window that Mrs. Sappleton has purportedly left open in her delusion that the men engulfed years ago in a treacherous bog will somehow return.