What is some symbolism in the short story "The Open Window"?

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The big English country house itself is a symbol. It symbolizes a quiet, conservative, routine way of life, which the young girl may find boring and may want to liven up a little. Framton’s letter of introduction is a symbol of a formal, conservative lifestyle with old-fashioned manners. Framton has come to this rural region specifically to find peace and quiet for his jangled nerves. The custom of serving tea at that time of day is also symbolic of tradition, routine, and a certain amount of formality. Vera is a loose cannon in this quiet, conservative household. Framton Nuttel himself is something of a loose cannon himself because of his bad nerves. Everyone, except Vera, is startled when the visitor grabs his hat and cane and goes flying out of the house. The open window is symbolic in more than one way. It symbolizes safety and tranquility, because the occupants feel free to leave the window wide open and probably do not even lock their doors. At the same time it symbolizes potential danger because it is used as the title and thereby suggests that something is going to happen involving that window. It also inspires Vera to make up her wild story—but she has probably seen that open window dozens of times in the past and has imagined stories about it before Framton ever appears.

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