Explain how Saki foreshadows the conclusion of his short story, "The Open Window".

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Michael Otis | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

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In a work of literature, foreshadowing is the presentation - usually near the beginning - of hints of what comes to light later. Foreshadowed events are often seen clearly in hindsight. In the short story by Saki (nom de plume: H.H. Munro), the success of the foreshadowing rests squarely on the character of Framton Nuttel, a man we learn in the story would be readily unnerved by the sight of ghosts. For example, we learn that Nuttel has come to the Sappleton's country home for a "nerve cure", suggesting that his psychological state is a fragile one. Moreover, the quick-witted and perceptive Vera ascertains soon after Nuttel's arrival that he has little familiarity with her aunt. Consequently, she is able to tell her convincing tall tale to a gullible man predisposed to her cunning deception. In this story, therefore, foreshadowing doubly serves to delineate character and delight the reader with the surprise ending. 

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