The Open Window



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The Open Window Symbol Analysis

The Open Window Symbol Icon

The open window is the main set piece of Vera’s story, literally framing her uncles’ return for the characters inside the Sappleton home. Though each character sees the same thing when looking through the window, what this image means changes depending on their perspective. For Mrs. Sappleton, who knows her husband and brothers will soon be returning from a hunting trip, seeing the men through the window is exciting. To Mr. Nuttel, who believes these men are dead, it is terrifying. The open window thus represents the power of storytelling to shape one’s view of the world outside.

The Open Window Quotes in The Open Window

The The Open Window quotes below all refer to the symbol of The Open Window. 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

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:
Get the entire The Open Window LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Open Window PDF

The Open Window Symbol Timeline in The Open Window

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Open Window appears in The Open Window. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Open Window
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... (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... (full context)