illustration of a young girl looking out a window at ghostly figures

The Open Window

by Saki

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What are some examples of paradox in Saki's short story "The Open Window"?

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A paradox is defined as anyone or anything that is self-contradictory. A paradox can also be something that seems absurd but might express a possible element of truth. Saki's short story "The Open Window" has a few examples of paradox when a nervous man named Mr. Nuttel meets a clever young trickster named Vera. One example of a paradox can be seen when Vera first mentions her aunt's "tragedy" to Mr. Nuttel, and he thinks to himself, ". . . somehow, in this restful country spot, tragedies seemed out of place." Mr. Nuttel feels as though a tragedy taking place in a peaceful spot is contradictory to its nature and purpose

Finally, Vera is a paradox because she exhibits a contradictory nature. For example, she seems like a sweet, innocent girl who is concerned about her aunt's welfare. She also seems to be interested in telling Mr. Nuttel about the "tragedy" so he will be sensitive to her aunt's state of mind when he meets her. On the contrary, Vera's true intentions are to deceive her guest and make a fool out of him. As a result, she reveals the truth about herself, which is the fact that she is more of a trickster than just a young, sweet, innocent girl.

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