What is the setting of the story the girl tells and how does this setting add to the atmosphere of her story?"The Open Window" by Saki

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Saki's "The Open Window," there are actually two settings:  The home of the Stappleton's where Framton Nuttel sits captive to the "tale of tragedy" that Vera weaves.  In this room, where "an undefinable something ...seemed to suggest masculine habitation," the open French window serves as the frame for Vera's tale of the outdoors where Mr. Stappleton and his brothers supposedly went hunting three years ago.

In the first setting, Framton Nuttel waits rather uncomfortably for the appearance of his hostess, Mrs. Stappleton.  She has sent her niece down the stairs to keep him company, and this "very self-possessed young lady of fiteen" takes advantage of Nuttel's lack of knowledge of the area and its people by creating her tale from the literal and figurative framework of the open window.

Because she employs the window, there is a suggestion of openness and truth to Vera's story. Added to the "undefinable something" that suggests the presence of men, Vera's story of men having set out for their day's shooting becomes real to Framton Nuttel.  In addition, Vera's mention of a moor certainly adds mystery as this area connotes fog and mystery and Emily Bronte's gothic novel Wuthering Heights set on the moors where places give "way suddenly without warning."

Out of his own environment, Framton Nuttel is rather uncomfortable; then, with the setting of the expanse which Nuttel perceives through the open window, an expanse "engulfed in a treacherous piece of bog," the setting greatly contributes to the mysterious atmosphere of Vera's deceptive tale.

babyswagwow | Student

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