The Open Window Questions and Answers
by Saki

The Open Window book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What are some examples of paradox in Saki's short story "The Open Window?"

Expert Answers info

Tina Bishop, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)

bookM.A. from Southern Utah University


calendarEducator since 2011

write2,337 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

A paradox is defined as anyone or anything that is self-contradictory. A paradox can also be something that seems absurd but might express a possible element of truth. Saki's short story "The Open Window" has a few examples of paradox when a nervous man named Mr. Nuttel meets a clever young trickster named Vera. One example of a paradox can be seen when Vera first mentions her aunt's "tragedy" to Mr. Nuttel, and he thinks to himself, ". . . somehow, in this restful country spot, tragedies seemed out of place." Mr. Nuttel feels as though a tragedy taking place in a peaceful spot is contradictory to its nature and purpose

Finally, Vera is a paradox because she exhibits a contradictory nature. For example, she seems like a sweet, innocent girl who is concerned about her aunt's welfare. She also seems to be interested in telling Mr. Nuttel about the "tragedy" so he will be sensitive to her aunt's state of mind when he meets her. On the contrary, Vera's true intentions are to deceive her guest and make a fool out of him. As a result, she reveals the truth about herself, which is the fact that she is more of a trickster than just a young, sweet, innocent girl.

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial