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

The Open Window

by Saki

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What makes Mr. Nuttel a rather unusual visitor in "The Open Window"?

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Framton Nuttle is an unusual visitor in this English country home because he is a nervous wreck and is bringing his emotional problems with him. He does not know these people at all. He is really imposing on them inconsiderately, since he has nothing to offer them in the way of news, amusement, entertainment, or whatever, but evidently expects them to offer him compassion, consideration, and practically undivided attention. (He even seems to hint that he would like to be invited to stay for dinner when he tells Mrs. Sappleton that his doctors allow him to eat almost anything.) This family is not used to seeing such specimens of humanity and don't know what to make of him. This is because they live very peaceful and uneventful lives in the country, while Framton is a refugee from the big, crowded, competitive, stressful, noisy, smoggy city of London. Mrs. Sappleton is courteous and somewhat attentive because she is so thoroughly conditioned to being a good hostess; but fifteen-year-old Vera sees Framton only as a bore, a nuisance, an intruder, and probably a malingerer. Perhaps the scare she manages to give him with her ghost tale will be good for him.

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