The Open Window/The Monkey’s Paw Comparison

The Open Window’s structure is a story-within-a-story. The story set in Mrs. Sappleton’s house is the frame story. The story Vera tells to Mr. Nuttel is the central story, without which the frame story would not make much sense. The Monkey’s Paw is divided into three sections. The first is about the sergeant’s arrival and tales. The second is the consequence of the monkey’s paw and the point at which Mr. White’s goal changes. The third is the climax and the last effects of the paw. The story structure is not much similar except for the fact that there are multiple sections in each story. They are different in that in the monkey’s paw, the story is chronological, except for Sergeant-Major Morris’s very short story, while in the open window, the frame relies heavily on Vera’s flashback tale.

In the climax of The Open Window, Mr. Nuttel sees the three figures described in Vera’s story. He then turns to see that she seems to be in shock from the sight. He then bolts out the door as fast as he can. In the climax of The Monkey’s Paw, Mrs. White runs to the door to let the thing outside in. Mr. White does not want this to happen, so he tries to stop her. Seeing that this does not work, he finds the paw and wishes for the thing to go away. The climaxes as the same in that there is frantic movement and effort spent to acheive each person’s goal. But the climaxes are for very different reasons. Mr. Nuttel bolts out the door because of Vera’s lies about the shapes approaching, but Mr. White knows that something horrible awaits if he fails.

Saki uses specific wording in The Open Window to create suspense and to trick the reader as well. He uses words such as “hoarse voice”, “dazed horror”, and Vera’s exact prediction, “Bertie, why do you bound?” These convey that the ghost story has come true. Saki also uses irony in the characters’ names to hint at the deception. W. W. Jacobs uses word choice in a similar way. He describes Mrs. White’s face as “white and expectant, with an unnatural look to it”, and that a “perfect fullisade of knocks” was heard at the door. He also uses the number three in many ways. Sergeant-Major Morris had three glasses of whiskey before he began his tale. The man outside the gate paused three times, and the story is divided into three parts. Both authors use specific words to make the stories more convincing. But Jacobs uses threes instead of irony to convey the deeper meaning.


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