The Open Window Plot Analysis
Exposition: "My aunt will be down presently, Mr. Nuttel," said a very self-possessed young lady of fifteen;
"in the meantime you must try and put up with me.
The story starts off by the narrator giving details and back round descriptions of the characters.
Inciting Incident: "Her great tragedy happened just three years ago," said the child; "that would
be since your sister's time."
"Her tragedy?" asked Framton; somehow in this restful country spot tragedies seemed
out of place.
"You may wonder why we keep that window wide open on an October afternoon," said the niece, indicating
a large French window that opened on to a lawn.
"It is quite warm for the time of the year," said Framton; "but has
that window got anything to do with the tragedy?
Framton, the main character, gets introduce to
a plot and he takes it as truth.
Rising Action: "I hope you don't mind the open window," said
Mrs. Sappleton briskly; "my husband and brothers will be home directly from shooting, and they always come in this way. They've
been out for snipe in the marshes today, so they'll make a fine mess over my poor carpets. So like you menfolk, isn't it?"
She rattled on cheerfully about the shooting and the scarcity of birds, and the prospects for duck in the winter.
To Framton it was all purely horrible. He made a desperate but only partially successful effort to turn the talk on to a less
ghastly topic, he was conscious that his hostess was giving him only a fragment of her attention, and her eyes were constantly
straying past him to the open window and the lawn beyond. It was certainly an unfortunate coincidence that he should have
paid his visit on this tragic anniversary.
Framton gets introduce to Mrs. Sappleton and he thinks
she is insane, but in reality she is telling the truth; this is setting up for the climax.
In the deepening twilight three figures were walking across the lawn towards the window, they all carried guns under their
arms, and one of them was additionally burdened with a white coat hung over his shoulders. A tired brown spaniel kept close
at their heels. Noiselessly they neared the house, and then a hoarse young voice chanted out of the dusk: "I said, Bertie,
why do you bound?"
The main character sees that the husband and the sons were walking towards
the house, the character reaches the point of no return.
Falling Action: Framton grabbed wildly
at his stick and hat; the hall door, the gravel drive, and the front gate were dimly noted stages in his headlong retreat.
A cyclist coming along the road had to run into the hedge to avoid imminent collision.
"A most extraordinary man,
a Mr. Nuttel," said Mrs. Sappleton; "could only talk about his illnesses, and dashed off without a word of goodby or apology
when you arrived. One would think he had seen a ghost."
"I expect it was the spaniel," said the niece calmly; "he
told me he had a horror of dogs. He was once hunted into a cemetery somewhere on the banks of the Ganges by a pack of pariah
dogs, and had to spend the night in a newly dug grave with the creatures snarling and grinning and foaming just above him.
Enough to make anyone lose their nerve."
The main character reacts to the climax by running out
and away from the ‘ghosts’.
Denouement (Resolution): Romance at short notice was her speciality.
The resolution of the story consists of the family thinking that Framton is insane because he ran
1. Look up the meaning of the name Vera. How might Saki's choice of this be considered verbal irony?
name Vera means truth but she was lying to Framton about her family dying.
2. In what ways is the story's last line
Vera was lying the whole time about her family’s death just to keep her amuse, and the author makes us
think that Mrs. Sappleton was crazy.
3. Find two other ironic statements in the story.
"The doctors agree in
ordering me complete rest, an absence of mental excitement, and avoidance of anything in the nature of violent physical exercise."
is quite warm for the time of the year," said Framton; "but has that window got anything to do with the tragedy?"
What is the point of view in the story? How does the point of view create irony?
The point of view in the story is
in third person view and it is limited to knowledge. We only know what Framton is thinking and no one else. We wouldn’t
have known that Vera was lying until the end of the story.
5. Identify important character traits of Framton Nuttel,
and Vera. What action and lines of dialogue are the most important in the development of their characters?
is on the edge of insanity, he cant take anymore stress or else he’ll go insane. He is a fragile person, any little
excitement or anxiety can make him insane. Vera is a lair and a fifteen year old girl. She lies to Framton only to keep herself
amused by his terror. When Vera greeted Framton at the door, the story would have never happened if Mrs. Sappleton opened
the door instead of Vera.