What techniques are evident in the short story "The Open Window"?"Open Window" by Saki

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Saki's short story "The Open Window" employs the technique of a frame story that has another within it.  Added to this structure, the narrative is written as a tall tale with irony and connotation.


Vera's name is misleading for Framton Nuttel since the name Vera is a derivative of the Latin word veritas, or truth.  The tall-tale that she weaves revolves around the open window, which of itself connotes candor and honesty.  The connotation of the name and the window contribute to the effect of Vera's tall-tale as Nuttel gullibly becomes horrified when he views Vera's frightened appearance as she sees the men.  


Vera's tale is replete with verbal irony as she makes use of the open window for her devious story as well as the Stappleton men away on a hunt to twist the meaning of their day's adventure.  After Framton Nuttel panicks and runs off, Mrs. Stappleton herself is faced with the irony of her guest's departure.  But, she remarks superciliously in an example of situational irony,

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

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