Theme

Truth vs. fiction

The theme of the short story “The Open Window” by Saki is truth versus fiction. 

The narrative contains two “stories within a story”, both made up by Vera on the spot. The unique aspect of these stories, however, is that the “author” presents them as the truth, and the listeners do not suspect they are fiction. The consequence of this is that the perspective of each character is reduced to what they assume about the others, based on Vera’s stories. For instance, Framton thinks Mrs. Sappleton is mentally unstable and cannot let go of the loss of her husband and brothers. Mrs. Sappleton thinks Framton is a strange fellow with a dog phobia. Neither of these perspectives is correct, and each character’s version of “their truth” is distorted. ...

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