The Open Window

by

Saki

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Framton Nuttel Character Analysis

A perpetually anxious gentleman sent to the English countryside to soothe his nerves. Mr. Nuttel has arrived at the Sappleton home following a letter of introduction from his sister, but is not enthused about the prospect of conversing with total strangers. His behavior is largely shaped by expectations of social etiquette, and he is easily manipulated by Vera’s story about the deaths of her aunt’s husband and brothers. Upon the return of Mrs. Sappleton’s male relatives to the house, Mr. Nuttel dashes away without a word of explanation or apology—all his gentlemanly pretensions cast aside in the face of apparent horror.

Framton Nuttel Quotes in The Open Window

The The Open Window quotes below are all either spoken by Framton Nuttel or refer to Framton Nuttel. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Absurdity of Etiquette Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Knopf edition of The Open Window published in 2017.
The Open Window Quotes

Framton Nuttel endeavoured to say the correct something which should duly flatter the niece of the moment without unduly discounting the aunt that was to come. Privately he doubted more than ever whether these formal visits on a succession of total strangers would do much towards helping the nerve cure which he was supposed to be undergoing.

Related Characters: Framton Nuttel, Vera Sappleton
Page Number: 189
Explanation and Analysis:

Poor aunt always thinks that they will come back some day, they and the little brown spaniel that was lost with them, and walk in at that window just as they used to do. That is why the window is kept open every evening till it is quite dusk. … Do you know, sometimes on still, quiet evenings like this, I almost get a creepy feeling that they will all walk in through that window - "

Related Characters: Vera Sappleton (speaker), Framton Nuttel, Mrs. Sappleton
Related Symbols: The Open Window
Page Number: 190
Explanation and Analysis:

She rattled on cheerfully about the shooting and the scarcity of birds, and the prospects for duck in the winter. To Framton it was all purely horrible.

Related Characters: Framton Nuttel, Mrs. Sappleton
Page Number: 190
Explanation and Analysis:

"The doctors agree in ordering me complete rest, an absence of mental excitement, and avoidance of anything in the nature of violent physical exercise," announced Framton, who laboured under the tolerably wide-spread delusion that total strangers and chance acquaintances are hungry for the least detail of one's ailments and infirmities, their cause and cure.

Related Characters: Framton Nuttel
Page Number: 190
Explanation and Analysis:

In the deepening twilight three figures were walking across the lawn towards the window; they all carried guns under their arms, and one of them was additionally burdened with a white coat hung over his shoulders. A tired brown spaniel kept close at their heels. Noiselessly they neared the house, and then a hoarse young voice chanted out of the dusk: "I said, Bertie, why do you bound?"

Related Characters: Framton Nuttel, Ronnie
Page Number: 191
Explanation and Analysis:

"A most extraordinary man, a Mr. Nuttel," said Mrs. Sappleton; "could only talk about his illnesses, and dashed off without a word of good-bye or apology when you arrived. One would think he had seen a ghost."

Related Characters: Mrs. Sappleton (speaker), Framton Nuttel
Page Number: 191
Explanation and Analysis:
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Framton Nuttel Character Timeline in The Open Window

The timeline below shows where the character Framton Nuttel appears in The Open Window. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Open Window
The Absurdity of Etiquette Theme Icon
Innocence and Guile Theme Icon
Vera, a “self-possessed” young woman, greets Framton Nuttel , who has just arrived at her house. Vera says that her aunt will be... (full context)
The Absurdity of Etiquette Theme Icon
The Romance of Hypochondria  Theme Icon
Mr. Nuttel attempts to think of an appropriate greeting to flatter Vera without going so far as... (full context)
The Absurdity of Etiquette Theme Icon
The Romance of Hypochondria  Theme Icon
Privately, Mr. Nuttel doubts whether these visits with strangers, prearranged by his sister to make sure he does... (full context)
The Absurdity of Etiquette Theme Icon
Innocence and Guile Theme Icon
After “sufficient silent communion” has elapsed, Vera asks Mr. Nuttel about his knowledge of the area. Mr. Nuttel replies that he knows next to nothing... (full context)
Fiction and Perspective Theme Icon
The Romance of Hypochondria  Theme Icon
Innocence and Guile Theme Icon
Vera tells Mr. Nuttel that Mrs. Sappleton’s “great tragedy” happened three years prior, after Mr. Nuttel’s sister’s time in... (full context)
Fiction and Perspective Theme Icon
The Romance of Hypochondria  Theme Icon
Innocence and Guile Theme Icon
Vera points out a large open window, commenting that Mr. Nuttel may wonder why it has been left open on an October afternoon. She proceeds to... (full context)
Fiction and Perspective Theme Icon
The Romance of Hypochondria  Theme Icon
Innocence and Guile Theme Icon
Mr. Nuttel notes that Vera’s voice has become less self-assured, and instead is “falteringly human.” She continues,... (full context)
The Absurdity of Etiquette Theme Icon
Fiction and Perspective Theme Icon
Mrs. Sappleton enters the room, much to Mr. Nuttel ’s relief, and asks her guest if Vera has been amusing him. Mrs. Sappleton apologizes... (full context)
The Absurdity of Etiquette Theme Icon
Fiction and Perspective Theme Icon
The Romance of Hypochondria  Theme Icon
Mr. Nuttel attempts to change the subject by discussing the intricacies of his own ailments and prescriptions,... (full context)
Fiction and Perspective Theme Icon
Innocence and Guile Theme Icon
...then excitedly remarks that her brother and husband have arrived just in time for tea. Mr. Nuttel pities her delusion, before catching a look of terror on Vera’s face. (full context)
Fiction and Perspective Theme Icon
Turning to look out the window himself, Mr. Nuttel sees three men and a dog walking across the yard, one with a white raincoat... (full context)
The Absurdity of Etiquette Theme Icon
Fiction and Perspective Theme Icon
Mr. Nuttel sprints out of the house and down the driveway in horror, causing a cyclist “to run... (full context)
Fiction and Perspective Theme Icon
The Romance of Hypochondria  Theme Icon
Innocence and Guile Theme Icon
Immediately Vera explains that Mr. Nuttel ran off because of the spaniel, adding that he is scared of dogs due to... (full context)