What are five or six examples of the theme in "The Open Window" by Saki?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

While there is more than one theme for this ironically amusing story, the theme of Deception has several parts to it:

1."Do you know many of the people round here?" Sent to talk with the guest while her aunt does something before descending to the sitting room, Vera asks Mr. Nuttel if he knows the people who live around her. Now, while Mr. Nuttel probably thinks she is merely making conversation while she waits for her aunt to appear; however, she determines by his answer what she can tell him. She discovers that he knows no one and knows only Mrs. Stappleton's name and address. This lack of familiarity with the area allows Vera to create her tall tale.

2. The open window. The fact that a French door, which also acts as a window is open creates a sense of honesty and openness that deceives Framton Nuttel into thinking that Vera tells him a true tale.

3. Vera's name. Vera's name is a derivative from the Latin word for "truth." In English there is the word veracity, for example. Vera's name credits her with telling the truth.

4.Vera's tall-tale.  Vera fashions a tall-tale based on the truth. The men of the Stappleton family have gone hunting with the dog. However, they departed the day Framton Nuttel talks to Vera, who fabricates a story about their having gone out three years ago and never returned because they were "engulfed in a treacherous piece of bog."

5. Mrs. Stappleton as being mentally maladjusted. Vera has told Framton,

"Poor aunt always thinks that they will come back some day, they and the little brown spaniel that ws lost with them, and walk in at that window just as they used to do....I almost get a creepy feeling that they will walk in throught that window...

6. With a name suggestive of stability, Mrs. Stappleton, who is unaware of Vera's fabricated story, tells Nuttel that her family is soon due to return. He feels sorry for her, of course, having heard of her affliction. But, when the men and the dog enter, Framton thinks he sees ghosts, and, terrified, he flees.