What is the critical appreciation about the story "The Open Window" by Saki?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In his story "The Open Window," Saki characteristically manipulates one trait of an individual:  Framton Nuttel's neuroses. In a rather sophisticated way of using the frame story, Saki's ironic wit pokes fun of the gullibility of Nuttel as well as his audience.  With the storyteller being a girl named after truth--Vera--the reader and Nuttel both are unsuspecting victims of her practical joke.  Added to the cleverness of using a girl as a narrator, Saki also deceives his audience with descriptions such as this one:

Here the child's voice lost its self-possessed note and became falteringly human.  "Poor aunt always thinks that they will come back someday...."

While his irony is not bitter or cruel, it, nevertheless, conquers in the end.  Framton rushes from the house in fear, and the aunt, Mrs. Stappleton, is deluded by Vera's explanation that Framton ran out because of his horror of dogs since he was once charged by a pack of dogs at a cemetery and had to spend the night in a newly dug grave. 

In "The Open Window," Saki cleverly pits imagination--"Romance at short notice was her speciality"--against reality in triumph over both Framton and Mrs. Stappleton as well as the reader in a cleverly written frame-within-a-frame short story.

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yappc | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

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In his story "The Open Window," Saki characteristically manipulates one trait of an individual:  Framton Nuttel's neuroses. In a rather sophisticated way of using the frame story, Saki's ironic wit pokes fun of the gullibility of Nuttel as well as his audience.  With the storyteller being a girl named after truth--Vera--the reader and Nuttel both are unsuspecting victims of her practical joke.  Added to the cleverness of using a girl as a narrator, Saki also deceives his audience with descriptions such as this one:

Here the child's voice lost its self-possessed note and became falteringly human.  "Poor aunt always thinks that they will come back someday...."

While his irony is not bitter or cruel, it, nevertheless, conquers in the end.  Framton rushes from the house in fear, and the aunt, Mrs. Stappleton, is deluded by Vera's explanation that Framton ran out because of his horror of dogs since he was once charged by a pack of dogs at a cemetery and had to spend the night in a newly dug grave. 

In "The Open Window," Saki cleverly pits imagination--"Romance at short notice was her speciality"--against reality in triumph over both Framton and Mrs. Stappleton as well as the reader in a cleverly written frame-within-a-frame short story.

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