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The Open Window

This study guide will help you analyze the short story “The Open Window” by Saki. You can also find a summary of the text, as well as inspiration for interpreting it.

Presentation of the text

Title: “The Open Window” (1914)
Author: H.H. Munro (Saki)
Genre: Short story

Saki is the pen name for Hector Hugh Munro (1870-1916). He was a British author, playwright and journalist, who wrote several witty and sometimes macabre short stories which are a satire of the British upper-class society at the turn of the century. He also wrote two novels. He fought in the First World War and was killed in the Battle of the Ancre, France. 

Extract

Here you can read an extract from our study guide:

The climax of the story occurs when Framton’s reaction to Mrs. Sappleton’s ‘hallucination’ turns from pity to horror upon realizing the men are indeed back. The emotional impact of the scene on Framton is heightened by the detailed description of the men, which mirrors all the details from Vera’s story: the white coat worn by one of them over his shoulders (l. 84), the “tired brown spaniel (...) at their heels (ll. 84-85), the chanting of the verse “ ‘I said, Bertie, why do you bound?’ ” (ll. 86-87). The situation will turn quickly anti-climactic when Mrs. Sappleton’s husband greets her acting perfectly normal, and even asks about Framton (ll.91-93)

Vera’s second story and the ending provides an explanation for everything that happened before: “Romance at short notice was her specialty” (l. 102). Both stories are made up by Vera to amuse herself at the expense of those around her.

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The Open Window

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