Name two characters and explain the ways in which these characters express themselves as they try to deal with the irony of the story."The Open Window" by Saki

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Saki's "The Open Window," there are two other characters involved in the narrative besides Vera, who, of course, creates the irony of the narrative.  The first is Mr. Framton Nuttel, who has recently suffered from nervous exhaustion and is sent to the countryside for a rest, which, ironically, does not experience.  His sister has sent him to visit Mrs. Sappleton in hopes that the socialization will relax her brother.  But, instead of a leisurely visit with her, Nuttel becomes the audience to "a self-possessed young lady of fifteen" who, after detecting his unfamiliarity with the area, weaves a tale of terror for her unsuspecting listener.  In fact, he contributes to the story by asking, "...but has that window got anything to do with the tragedy?"

Relieved when Mrs. Sappleton, Vera's aunt finally enters the room, Nuttel tells her, "Vera has been very interesting." However, when Mrs. Sappleton says, "Here they come," Nuttel expects a delusionary remark from his hostess and looks sympathetically at Vera.  But, when the contrast between what Vera has told him and the reality occurs, Nuttel has a mental breakdown,

Framton grabbed wildly at his stick and hat....A cyclist coming along the road had to run into the hedge to avoid imminent collision.

Faced with the irony of Nuttel's reaction, Mrs. Sappleton is rather supercilious as she tells her husband and son,

"A most extraordinary man, ...could only talk about his illnesses, and dashed off without a word of goodby or apology when you arrived.  One would think he had seen a ghost."