What is the point of view of "The Open Window" and how can you tell?

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lsumner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the short story, "The Open Window," by Saki, the author uses a third-person omniscient point of view. What this means is that the narrator is a not a part of the story but can share what the characters are thinking and feeling. The reader learns about the characters from the third-person narrator as the narrator conveys what the characters are thinking and feeling in the short story:

For the most part, the narrator shares Framton Nuttel's point of view. He is the one who is nervous, calling upon strangers. He is the one who sits and listens to "Vera's tall tale, not knowing it is a far-fetched story. He is the one who believes Vera's tall tale.

Also, the reader believes Vera's tall tale and is just as engrossed in the story as Mr. Nuttel is. The reader feels the eerie feeling as the men are heading toward the open window.

Omniscient third-person point-of-view allows a narrator to share a variety of points of view:

This allows a narrator to portray events from a variety of points of view, conveying what all of the characters are doing and what they are feeling or thinking.

We learn from the narrator that Mr. Nuttel is truly afraid when he sees Mr. Sappleton and his brothers-in-law coming toward the open window. We know what Mr. Nuttel is thinking by the way he quickly runs away from the setting:

For most of the story, until he runs from the house, the reader shares Mr. Nuttel's point of view. Like Mr. Nuttel, the reader is at the mercy of Vera's story. The reader remains, however, after Mr. Nuttel has fled and thus learns that Vera's story was nothing but a tall tale.