The Open Window Essay

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In the following essay, Stahl discusses the image of the rebellious child in "The Open Window. "

"The Open Window" is H. H. Munro's most frequently anthologized story, yet it has been almost entirely neglected by critics. It is a very brief story (only about 1200 words) and has the cameo quality and brisk wit so characteristic of Saki. A hasty reading of the story may confirm the opinion of those who, like A. A. Milne, believe that Saki is merely an entertainer. He is often considered a technically facile artisan whose plots, O. Henry-like, suffer from over-contrivance and whose elegance of expression is like a glaze on a thin and rather fragile pot.

Robert Drake, on the other hand, has argued for the deeper significance of Saki's work, distinguishing between the ironic and the humorous stories. In the ironic stories the unwillingness of a central character to face undesired...

(read more from the Critical Essay #3 section)

This section contains 2,050 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Open Window Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
The Open Window from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.