Why is Framton Nuttel spending his time in the countryside visiting the Sappletons in "The Open Window"?

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In "The Open Window," Framton Nuttel has apparently had some type of nervous breakdown, and has been prescribed a rest in the country. He therefore comes with letters of introduction from his sister, who knows the Sappletons.

Within the time setting of Saki 's narrative, rests in quiet...

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In "The Open Window," Framton Nuttel has apparently had some type of nervous breakdown, and has been prescribed a rest in the country. He therefore comes with letters of introduction from his sister, who knows the Sappletons.

Within the time setting of Saki's narrative, rests in quiet places were prescribed by physicians for patients who had "nervous conditions." Thus, by eliminating the environmental conditions which supposedly have induced the nervous breakdown of Nuttel, his doctor expects that his patient will heal.

"The doctors agree in ordering me complete rest, an absence of mental excitement, and avoidance of anything in the nature of violent physical exercise," announced Framton.

Ironically, however, in Saki's social satire, Nuttel is jettisoned by this revelation into a situation which proves at least as detrimental as the one from which he has come, if not more so. For, his listener, Mrs. Sappleton's niece Vera, is mischievous and clever. When she recognizes Nuttel's gullibility, Vera weaves a clever, macabre tale around the true facts of the French doors being opened for the return of Mr. Sappleton and his son. She intimates that Mrs. Sappleton is delusional and expects her "dead" family members to yet return. When the men do come through the doors, the shock to the fragile mind of Nuttel sends him fleeing out in "a headlong retreat."

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