Make a Venn diagram between the short stories "Like a Sun" and "The Open Window."

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In making the Venn diagram, here are the things that can be put in the center where the two circles intersect:

  • Themes of Truth - Both stories revolve around what is done with the truth
  • Price of telling/not telling truth - What is said by the main characters who interact with others and how it affects these people
  • Reaction to the use of truth - Other characters react strongly to the voice of what they believe is the truth
  • Both Sekhar's and Vera's results are negative.

On the left side - "Like a Sun":

  • Sekhar feels that people "must give and tell absolute Truth whatever may happen." He sets aside a day to be truthful all day 
  • Sekhar maintains his integrity even when his administrator asks him for an honest opinion about his musical ability. Although he hurts the man's feelings, the administrator expresses his gratitude for telling him the truth, but he retracts his deadline for Sekhar to finish grading papers. 
  • Sekhar, humbled, feels that having "to grade papers in one night is a small price to pay for the luxury of Truth." 

On the right side - "The Open Window"

  • Vera, Mrs. Stappleton's niece, having been sent to entertain Mr. Framton, decides to create a tall tale to frighten the nervous little man. This tale she embellishes with some true details--

"Out through that window, three years ago...her husband and her two young brothers went off for their day's shooting."

But, she embellishes this truth in order to frighten Framton,

They never came back....they were all three engulfed in a treacherous piece of bog."

When the men return, Framton is so terrified that he runs out. Then, when questioned by her aunt, Vera unashamedly again fabricates another tale.