Hector Hugh Munro (Saki) (1870–1916)
119 Study Questions, Activities, and Resources
The Open Window
- Consult a good dictionary and then clarify the meaning of the word “romance” in the last sentence.
- In what way are the names of the three main characters well chosen?
- Give an example of each of the three types of irony in the story: verbal, dramatic, and situational irony.
The Schartz-Metterlume Method
- Discuss the nature of the satire against the nouveau riche class in the story.
- Does Lady Carlotta ever actually tell a lie in the story?
- What is the significance of Carlotta’s title and rank?
- Give some examples of how Saki’s style contributes to the humour.
- To paraphrase Henri Bergson, “Comedy is the triumph of the vital [energetic, life-supporting, unpredictable, imaginative] over the mechanical [predictable, rigid].” (A good example of the triumph of the vital character over the mechanical one would be that of the Roadrunner over Wile E. Coyote in any of the Roadrunner cartoons.) Discuss the triumph of either Vera over Frampton in “The Open Window” or the triumph of Lady Carlotta over Mrs. Quabaral in “The Schartz-Metterklume Method.”
- Compare the adaptation of “The Schartz- Metterklume Method,” also on YouTube, with the professionally produced “The Open Doors” mentioned in the Resources.