NCERT English - Class 8

It So Happened

Chapter 7: The Open Window

Comprehension Check

Page 57

Question 1: Why had Framton Nuttel come to the “rural retreat”?

Answer: Framton was suffering from some nerve ailment. So, he was advised to have rest in natural surroundings of countryside. His sister also decided to send him to that rural area. That is why he came to the “rural retreat”.

Question 2: Why had his sister given him letters of introduction to people living there?

Answer: Framton Nuttel’s sister had stayed in a village four years ago. She had known many people there. That is why she had given him letters of introduction to people living there. She thought that they would help him in his need.

Question 3: What had happened in the Sappleton family as narrated by the niece ?

Answer: When Mr. Framton reached the house of Mrs. Sappleton, she was upstairs. In her absence, her niece talked to him. She narrated a tragic tale to him. She told Framton that the husband of her aunt and her two young brothers had gone off for shooting snipes. They were caught in a bog there. Their bodies were never recovered. Their dog was also with them.

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Page 60

Question 1: What did Mrs. Sappleton say about the open window ?

Answer: Mrs. Sappleton said that her husband and two brothers had gone out for shooting snipes. They would be coming back home. They always come home directly from shooting through that window. That is why she always kept the window open.

Question 2: The horror on the girl’s face made Framton swing around his seat. What did he see ?

Answer: Mrs. Sappleton’s husband and two brothers had returned with spaniel. The girl Vera was horrorstricken to see them. Framton saw three figures walking across the lawn as Vera had told him. It made Framton swing around his seat.

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Question 1: Why did Framton rush out wildly ?

Answer: Mrs. Sappleton looked out of the window. She saw that her husband and two brothers were coming. She said that they had come at last just in time for tea. They were covered with mud and spaniel followed them. Framton Nuttel got panicked. He thought that they were ghosts. It made him rush out wildly.

Question 2: What was the girl’s explanation for his lightning exit?

Answer: Mrs. Sappleton said that Mr. Framton had rushed out speedily as if he had seen a ghost. But the girl explained his lighteing exit by saying that he was afraid of spaniel. She told that once he had remained hiding in a grave for fear of dogs. It happened in a cemetry on the banks of the Ganges.


Discuss in small groups :

Question 1: Is this a mystery story ? Give a reason for your answer.

Answer: This is certainly a mystery story. Mrs. Sappleton’s husband and brothers had gone out shooting. The niece of Mrs. Sappleton Vera turned the story that they were dead. Their bodies were never recovered. Framton Nuttle was horrified by Vera’s explanation. So, when he saw them returning but he thought that they were ghosts.

Question 2: You are familiar with the ‘irony' of the situation in a story. (Remember The Cop and the Anthem in Class VII Supplementary Reader!) Which situations in ‘The Open Window’ are good examples of the use of irony ?

Answer: 'Irony' is an expression of one’s saying the direct opposite of what one is thinking. Irony is a significant part of most of the stories. In the story 'The Open Window’, to keep the window open for the arrival of the dead persons who were stuck in the mud is an example of irony in this story.

Question 3: Which phrases/sentences in the text do you find difficult to understand ? Select a few and guess the meaning of each. Rewrite a simple paraphrase of each.

Answer: I think the following phrases/sentences are difficult to understand :

  • Suggest masculine habitation - It means the room belonged to a man.
  • My aunt will be down presently - It means she will come downstairs.
  • Without unduly discounting the aunt - It means to think the aunt is unimportant.
  • Whirl of apologies - It means apologies in quick succession
  • Rattled on - It means continued.
  • Romance at short notice - It means finding occasion for fun and enjoyment, wherever possible.