How would I go about retelling "The Open Window" from Vera'a point of view, and why would it need to turn out that way?   

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

To my mind, this would be a difficult task because to tell the story from Vera's point of view would mean to reveal her perceptions, thoughts, feelings, and motives. This would be unfortunate because revealing these would eradicate the satire, the suspense and some important thematic issues, particularly the thematic issue of the enfant terrible: children in Saki's stories who act intentionally to harm adults from undisclosed motives.

To retell this from Vera's point of view, you first have to ascertain her motives, something which no critics can yet agree upon. Does Vera beguile Framton out of playful boredom or out of a malicious desire to do harm to an unknown, yet disdained, inferior adult? Why does Vera tell another lie to her relatives, though it is especially aimed at Aunt Sappleton? And how often does she tell her relatives (and others) contrived fantasies? Does she do this as an innocent entertainment, as an innocent expansion of her creative powers, or does she do it as a subtle power manipulation that puts her in the dominant position?

After you decide what Vera is really like--the text offers little or no help in determining what Vera really is like (part of Saki's skillful ambiguity)--you will narrate and speak for Vera as though everything that happens is experienced, seen and discussed through Vera's perceptions. An illustration of how this might start out follows; you can see from it that you will need to find a way to incorporate relevant third-person narrator information into what Vera knows and narrates. This means Frampton will have to have said the information out loud to Vera.


"My aunt will be down presently, Mr. Nuttel," I said; "in the meantime you must try and put up with me."

Framton Nuttel, who endeavoured to say the correct something which should duly flatter me without unduly discounting my aunt seemed to doubt whether his visit to strangers would do much towards helping the nerve cure which he said he was supposed to be undergoing. Of course it came out later in our first conversation that his sister had insisted he come to where she knew people to whom she could write letters of introduction. I suppose she suspected he would sit solitary as he could be without speaking to a soul, making his nerves worse than ever.