The open window
Comprehension Check (Page 57)
- Why had Framton Nuttel come to the “rural retreat”?
- Why had his sister given him letters of introduction to people living there?
- What had happened in the Sappleton family as narrated by the niece?
- Framton Nuttel was suffering from some nervous disorder and worry. So he decided to spend a few days in some village and relax in peace.
- His sister knew that Framton would meet very few people in the countryside. He would feel lonely and bored. His condition could grow worse. So she gave him letters of introduction to all people she knew there. One was addressed to Mrs. Sappleton.
- The niece played a practical joke on Sappleton when she came to know that he was a total stranger. She said that her aunt’s husband, two brothers and a dog had gone for hunting through the window three years ago. They never returned. But the aunt was still hoping to see them back through the open window.
Comprehension Check (Page 60)
- What did Mrs Sappleton say about the open window?
- The horror on the girl’s face made Framton swing around in his seat. What did he see?
- Mrs Sappleton said that her husband and brothers would be entering the house any time. The window was kept open till it was dark. They would enter through the open window
- Framton swung around to know the reason for the girl’s horror. Soon he saw three figures coming towards the window.
Comprehension Check (Page 61)
- Why did Framton rush out wildly?
- What was the girl’s explanation for his lightning exit?
- The niece had told Nuttel that her aunt’s husband and brothers had been missing, for three years. When Framton saw them coming, he thought they were ghosts. So he rushed out wildly in fear.
- The girl explained that Framton had a bitter experience of the dogs. So he made a sudden exit on seeing the dog.
Exercise (Page 61)
Discuss in Small groups.
Is this a mystery story? Give a reason for your answer.
The open window is not truly a mystery story. It shows the fertile imagination of a young girl. She plays a practical joke on Framton and tells a cooked up story. Poor Framton falls a prey to her prank and runs out of the house hurriedly.
You are familiar with the ‘irony’ of the situation in a story. (Remember the cop and the Anthem in Class VII Supplementary Reader!) Which situations in The Open Window’ are good examples of the use of irony?
“Irony’ refers to the contrast between what is intended or expected and what actually occurs. The open window has irony of situation. Poor Framton goes to countryside for rest and relief from his nervousness. But Mrs Sappleton’s niece plays such a joke that he suddenly rushes out. He mistakes Mrs sappleton’s husband and brother as their ghosts.
Which phrases/sentences in the text do you find difficult to understand? Select a few and guess the meaning of each. Rewrite a simple paraphrase of each.
- Came into the nice division – The category of nice people.
- Masculine habitation. – The room seemed to suggest that there lived some male persons there.
- “Bertie, why do you bound? – Bound means ‘jump’. But here it means a person whose behaviour is unpleasant to other people.
MORE QUESTIONS SOLVED
I. SHORT ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
What is the significance of the window in the story’?
The window in the story, reveals niece’s habit of playing jokes and pranks. The window is central to the story. Through it the aunt’s husband along with his two brothers-in-law had gone out hunting. Framton is frightened to see them coming towards the window. Taking them for ghosts, he rushes out of the gate.
What was Framton Nuttel suffering from?
Framton Nuttel was suffering from nervous disorder and excitement. The doctor advised him complete rest and relaxation in the countryside.
Why does Framton retire to the countryside?
Framton retires to the rural retreat on the doctor’s advice. He needed rest and relief from mental excitement.
Whom does Framton contact in the rural resort?
Framton goes to Mrs Sappleton’s house in the countryside. He carries an introduction letter from his sister. But he first meets Mrs Sappleton’s niece, Vera.
What did Framton admit as well as notice in Mrs Sappleton’s room?
Mr Framton tells Vera that he doesn’t know anybody in that village. He wondered whether the lady was married or a widow. But he did notice that some male member has been living in the room.
What sort of tragedy had happened in Mrs Sappleton’s life, as narrated by the niece?
Vera told Framton about a family mishap three years ago. Mrs Sappleton’s husband, along with her two brothers had gone for shooting. They were caught in a wet marshy land. They never returned. But the aunt was still hoping that they would return home and enter through the open window.
What did Framton notice about host’s chief concern?
Framton noticed that the host was turning her eyes constantly towards the open window. She was giving very little attention to his story of sickness. Her chief concern was to notice her husband’s returning home.
What did the aunt and her niece say about Framton’s sudden exit?
Mrs Sappleton and her niece told different stories why Framton had run out of the house in such a hurry. The lady called him an extraordinary man who talked only about his illneses. Perhaps he had seen a ghost, so he had dashed off. But Vera said that the caller had a horror of dogs. So the sight of spaniel made him push out.
II. LONG ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
Who was Vera? What joke did she play? What was its outcome?
Vera was the niece of Mrs. Sappleton. She was a young girl of fifteen. She was fun loving and mischievous. She knew how to oust a stranger from the house. She played a joke on him (Framton) and made him run out.
She narrated a cooked up story about her aunt’s husband, her two brothers and the open window. She told him that three years ago her aunt’s husband along with her two brothers had gone for shooting. They were caught in a wet marshy land. They never returned.
But the aunt, Mrs. Sappleton, was still hoping that they would return home and enter through the open window. When Mrs. Sappleton came to Framton, she also confirmed the story of the hunting party. This story had a deep effect on Framton.
He was frightened to see them coming towards the window. Taking them for ghosts, he rushed out of the gate in great hurry.