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“The Open Window” Saki (H.H. Munro).

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1 “The Open Window” Saki (H.H. Munro)

2 Background Around the beginning of the twentieth century --- when this story is set --- people often presented themselves through letters of introduction --- a kind of letter of recommendation that listed a person’s accomplishments and personality traits.

3 Plot Review Vera meets Mr. Nuttell and quickly determines that he is the perfect victim and plays a little joke on him, with spectacular results. She tells Mr. Nuttell a story so tragic and convincing that she has him believing in ghosts --- and seeing them as well.

4 Plot Review When faced with having to explain to her aunt why Mr. Nuttell left in such a hurry, she makes up an equally strange tale, making her aunt the next unsuspecting victim.

5 Plot The sequence of events that make up a story.

6 Plot Line Exposition – introduces the characters, setting, and situation Climax Inciting Incident Falling Action Exposition Resolution

7 Characterization Direct Characterization – The author tells the reader exactly how the character acts and what his physical traits are. Indirect Characterization – The reader is left to figure out the motivations of the character by the way he/she acts or by the way other characters treat him/her.

8 Setting The story is set at a country home in October around the turn of the 20th century

9 Situation of Exposition
Mr. Nuttell has come to the country to undergo a “nerve cure.” He knows no one in the neighborhood. Vera confirms the fact that Mr. Nuttell does not know her aunt well before she creates her fictional tale about her aunt and the open window.

10 Vera’s tale “Out through that [open] window, three years ago to a day, her husband and her two young brothers went off for their day’s shooting. They never came back. In crossing the moor to their favorite snipe-shooting ground they were all three engulfed in a treacherous piece of bog.” “Their bodies were never recovered.”

11 Inciting Incident An incident that often leads to a central conflict or problem.

12 Inciting Incident Vera tells Mr. Nuttell about her aunt’s “tragedy.”
Mr. Nuttell believes that Mrs. Sappleton is crazy from sadness, when Mrs. Sappleton cries, “Here they are at last!”

13 Climax This is the highest point of interest in the story.
This is also said to be the point of no return, where the action forever changes the outcome of the plot.

14 Climax The climax of the story occurs when Mrs. Sappleton announces the return of the men from their hunting trip, and Mr. Nuttell sees them and runs away.

15 Resolution The resolution of a story occurs when the conflict is resolved.

16 Resolution The central conflict is resolved when the hunting party returns and Mr. Nuttell flees. Vera has gotten rid of the visitor, and he will never return.

17 Vera’s Tale “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.”

18 Talkative; a good storyteller
Compare/Contrast Vera Mr. Framton Nuttell confident shy Talkative; a good storyteller uncomfortable mischievous nervous healthy sickly

19 Mr. Nuttell’s Personality
How does Mr. Nuttell’s personality affect the plot? His nervous personality convinces Vera that he is the perfect victim for her joke.

20 Cause and Effect What effect does Vera’s story have on Mr. Nuttell?
Vera tells Mr. Nuttell a tragic and eerie story. Mr. Nuttell is horrified, and his imagination runs wild. Mr. Nuttell leaves quickly in a fright.

21 Central Conflict What is the central conflict of the story?
Vera found Mr. Nuttell’s company unbearable and wanted to get rid of him.

22 Meaning “Romance at short notice was her specialty.”
This means that Vera is able to invent fantasy tales very quickly.

23 Theme Theme is the message about life that the story conveys.
Self-centered people tend to be easily fooled.

24 Humor What is funny about Mrs. Sappleton’s remark, “ One would think he had seen a ghost”? She does not realize that Mr. Nuttell does think he has seen a ghost.

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