The Open Window

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Preconception

In the Saki’s short story the open widow Mr. Nuttel, a man of poor nerve and highly reserved, following his sister’s suggestions, tried to pay several visits to some nice people strongly recommended by his sister, hoping those visits could help the never cure he was supposed to be undergoing; however, it was on his visit to Mr. Sappleton that his semi-normal never was totally crushed by a story from a girl only aged 15 years old. The first half of story was casted by the shadow of mystery and gloom, but the ending turned out to be unexpected delight, humor and irony, showing SAKI’ distinguished writing skill. The first character revealed into readers’ eyes was a niece of Mrs. Sappleton, aged 15 years old but unlike other childe, she was, as Saki described, “self-possessed”. It was this superficial character that deceived Mr. Nuttel’s eyes and his poor verve so well that he thought this visit to Mr. Sappleton may come into a ‘nice division’. Skeptical and incredulous as he was by keeping “wondering” and “doubting”, he did not notice the girl’s such words as “you must try and put up with me”. Self-possessed a girl she appeared and behaved so well that naughtiness and mischief could not be his nature. So why she said “try and put up with me”, Mr. Nuttle failed to consider about this ,since the notion he had perceived that she was not mischievous, but tried to say “the correct something which should duly flatter the niece of the moment without unduly discounting the aunt that was to come.” Such a foreshadow SAKI casted here, at the beginning of the story, revealing a little about the wisdom or cunning of a little girl and skeptical and unsocial character of Mr. Nuttle. Yes, the girl was a little mature for her age who was not only able to judge the silent situation but could break the ice by asking some questions to discover this guest’s character as well as his knowledge of the family he was visiting. Therefore, conversation was conducted...
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