Who is Saki satirizing in "The Open Window"?Who is he making fun of... which social group?
Saki is making fun of the British ruling classes during the early years of the twentieth century, a group which is frequently the subject and the victim in his satires. "The Open Window" specifically targets their gullibilty, as well as their skill at deception. The central character, Frampton Nattel, is completely taken in by the story behind the open window, told to him by Mrs. Sappleton's niece Vera. Although her motivation for fabricating the tale is not given, Vera has a flair for the dramatic and is obviously quite accomplished in the art of deceit. Frampton accepts her every word as truth, and in the end, the carefully crafted distortion of reality he has received causes him to flee in the throes of a mental breakdown. Chillingly, Vera responds unrepentantly to his abrupt exit with laughter, and flippantly carries on her charade with her Aunt.
Saki's satirization of the British class can also be extended to include the nature of humankind in general. Upon reflection, it must be noted that Frampton is not the only one who has fallen for Vera's story - the reader has been taken in as well!