Does “The Open Window” by Saki still deliver?

We know a short story has a challenge: to deliver dramatic impact in a few pages. Even with that limitation, a good one stirs our emotions and continues to resonate long after we finish the last line.

Have you read “The Open Window” by H. H. Munro, pen name Saki (1870-1916)? It’s just four pages long. In it, Vera, a fifteen-year-old girl, tells a visitor the tragic story of why her aunt leaves a large French window wide open on an October afternoon. The visitor is indeed moved.

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Vera

In the last line, the author says of the young girl: Romance at short notice was her specialty. The sentence, at first reading, may seem frivolous, a young girl being precocious, the author ironic. M-m-m-m. Is that all or is there more? For me, I feel something more sinister, that one day Vera will go too far with drastic consequences.

If you haven’t read the story … doesn’t take long.
http://www.eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/UBooks/OpeWin.shtml

What do you think about “The Open Window”? Does it deliver? Timeless? Dated?

Love to know your favorite short story.

Unknown

by H. H. Munro aka Saki

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About cmwriter

I'm a writer ... of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. I blog about writing, short stories, poetry, books, plays, and thoughts on life. Love reading and travel and being with friends!
This entry was posted in Reading, short story and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Does “The Open Window” by Saki still deliver?

  1. jimparrishme says:

    Very interesting. I was baffled until the last line connected the two separate fabrications. If I’m correct October is a subtle clue.

  2. cmwriter says:

    Hi Jim – Interesting observation … since October is the onset of prime hunting season, we could say Vera has hunted down her own prey! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. jimparrishme says:

    Thanks for posting this short story. I had not read this story and I learned a lot from the technique used .

  4. cmwriter says:

    Great – glad it worked for you. If you find a short story you really like or is a favorite of yours, let me know!

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