In "The Open Window," what does Nuttel's name suggest?    

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amarang9 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In "The Open Window," Framton Nuttel's name could suggest the term "nutty." Nutty can mean crazy, idiotic, foolish, or illogical. The connotation of nutty as being foolish is what is most applicable to Mr. Nuttel in this story. When Mr. Nuttel arrives at Mrs. Sappleton's home, he waits with Vera who tells him about her aunt's alleged tragedy. At this point, Nuttel considers himself to be the most normal, logical person in the house. After all, Mrs. Sappleton, according to the story, is still waiting for her husband and brothers to return from a hunting trip that commenced three years ago to the day. She would be foolish to think they might still return after being gone for three years. 

Framton Nuttel believed he was doing Vera and Mrs. Sappleton a favor by explaining his ailments and changing the subject from the painful reminder of the anniversary of the "tragedy." 

"The doctors agree in ordering me complete rest, an absence of mental excitement, and avoidance of anything in the nature of violent physical exercise,” announced Framton, who laboured under the tolerably widespread delusion that total strangers and chance acquaintances are hungry for the least detail of one’s ailments and infirmities, their cause and cure. 

Of course, Vera's story was not true and the husband and brothers do return. No one was interested in Nuttel's ailments; they really were waiting for the husband and brothers to come back. Presumably, they had left that same day. Nuttel was the victim of a fifteen year-old's tall tale. Nuttel, not Mrs. Sappleton, ends up looking like a fool and allows himself to be subjected to "mental excitement" and "violent physical exercise" as he bolted out of the door.