I. Comprehension check
1. Why had Frampton Nuttel come to the “rural retreat”?
–Frampton was suffering from bad nerves. He came to the rural retreat to gain peace and take rest so that he can cure his bad nerves.
2. Why had his sister given him letters of introduction to people living there?
–Frampton’s sister knew about his ailment and was sure that he knew nobody in the country. She gave him the letters of introduction to the people living there so that Frampton could interact with people he had never spoken to. She cared for Frampton and knew that interacting with people could somehow help to cure his nerves.
3. What had happened in the Sappleton family as narrated by the niece?
–When Frampton wondered about the large open window, his sister narrated him the tragedic story that took place three years back. She told that Ms Sappleton’s husband and his two brothers went off for shooting but they never came back. It was the day when the safest place has turned out to be the dangerous one without any warning. In that particular wet summer, the three brothers engulfed themselves into the dangerous piece of bog and their bodies were never recovered. She explained that after that day they always kept that wide window open with a hope that three of them could come back. Although they were aware of the bitter truth that the brothers were no more, still they kept a ray of hope within them.
II. Comprehension check
1. What did Mrs Sappleton say about the open window?
–Mrs Sappleton made apologies for being late as she was making her appearance for this particular day. Mrs Sappleton told Frampton about her husband and his brothers that they went out through this window for shooting. She explained that they were out for sniping birds on marshes and on their way back to the home they will make the carpets messy with mud. As explained by Sappleton they would come through the open window for tea.
2. The horror on the girl’s face made Frampton swing around in his seat. What did he see?
–When the aunt and the niece both looked outside, Frampton too swung around his seat and looked in the same direction. The situation became more ghastly. He saw three figures with a dog walking across the lawn towards the window. He saw them with guns under their arms and one with a white coat hung on his shoulder. The three of them were in a perfect shooting attire with a hoarse young voice chanted out of the dusk.
1. Why did Frampton rush out wildly?
-Frampton was informed by his niece that Mrs Sappleton’s husband and his two brothers with a dog had died three years ago. Suddenly, on the same day, he saw them coming towards the window for tea. He was horrified with the situation and was sure that those were ghosts walking towards the family. He grabbed his stick and hat and to avoid the ghastly situation rushed wildly out of the house.
2. What was the girl’s explanation for his lightning exit?
–On Framton’s lightning exit the niece tried to cover up the situation. She told those three men that he was afraid of dogs as once into a cemetery, on the banks of the Ganges, he was hunted by a pack of dogs. He had to spend the night near a newly dug grave with creatures snarling, groaning and foaming just above him. Very fluently she covered up the matter in front of those men.
1. Is this a mystery story? Give reasons for your answer.
–No, for me this story is not a mystery story as it is depicted that Frampton’s niece had a poetic nature.
When Frampton visited her house she portrayed that they never lose hope by opening the open window. At a fraction of seconds, she made imagination of the open window and narrated a false story to Frampton. She told about Mrs Sappleton’s husband and their brothers with a dog were dead as they got stuck into a dangerous bog while shooting. She explained the grief of about their family with an open window to make the story more interesting. He was the victim of his niece’s poetic thoughts.
But when she saw that the brothers were returning, she was surprised. But for her innocent thinking, Frampton has to suffer. He couldn’t catch up the thought process of his niece and hence was spellbound and got horrified when he saw those dead people returning back. For him, the story narrated by the niece was true and hence everything his aunt told him was surprising for him. But finally on their walking back made the situation more haunted and he rushed out of the house.
And now to cover up her lies or imagination she explained a story to the brothers that Frampton had a horror of dogs. And because of that, he had to rush out of the house.
2. You are familiar with the ‘irony’ of the situation in a story. Which situations in ‘The Open Window’ are good examples of the use of irony?
–The examples of the use of irony are:
i) The window which became a matter of grief for the family has suddenly become a matter of happiness when the brothers returned through the same window they went out.
ii) At the beginning of the story, we saw that Frampton’s niece had a caring nature and handed over an introduction letter with which he could get a chance to better his nerves. But in the same story at the end, we saw that the story of the horrifying house made his nerves worsen and he had to leave the house.
iii) Mrs Sappleton thought that her daughter has amused Frampton but she didn’t know that it was because of her daughter’s false story Frampton has to run out of the house. And when he rushed out of the house, he became a weird person in the eyes of the aunt instead of her daughter.
3. 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.
–Phrase: An undefinable something about the room seemed to suggest masculine habitation.
Simple phrase: Things in the room suggests that man lives here.
Phrase: the child’s voice lost its self possessed the note and became flatteringly human.
Simple phrase: the child lost her calm and confident attitude due to the grief and her voice became shaky.
Phrase: when the aunt bustled into the room with a whirl of apologies for being late in making her appearance.
Simple phrase: when the aunt entered into the room she took many apologies for being late in making her appearance.