The Painted Door Short Story Essay

In this way, we can empathize with Ann through the descriptive passages of her bleak surroundings.

Her attempts to keep herself occupied during the absence of her husband by carrying on with the household chores further emphasizes the sense of boredom in her life.

They compare to the lack of emotion John is showing towards Ann and his “simple mind”.

Ann wants a more complex emotional relationship with John, to live a “dramatic” life, whereas John thinks that getting Ann material things, doing something “for her sake” will be what brings her happiness.

However, Ann feels this only “deprives her of his companionship” which further adds to Ann’s sense of isolation.

The storm parallels Ann and John’s broken relationship and “dry and empty” lives.The isolation of the farmland is made abundantly clear as we learn the closest neighboring farm is “five miles away,” and even then it would seem longer as the roads are “impassable.” However, Ann’s isolation is not entirely physical, she also feels very emotionally isolated from the one person who is supposed to be there with her.The emotional setting of Ann is that of the physical environment, isolated, bitter, and cold.The storm thus serves as a metaphor both for Ann’s anxiety about her present life, and also for regrets about past decisions.The physical separation from her husband signifies the isolation Ann is experiencing in her marital relationship.Ann’s geographic isolation eventually intensifies her feelings of loneliness to the point where she feels even alienated from her own husband.Although John knew the they “could expect a storm,” he left Ann alone amongst the “ever-lurking silence” to go help his father.The decline of the storm signifies Ann’s return to rationality and moral conscience.In the story, “The Painted Door,” Sinclair Ross creates a mood of bitter cold, extreme isolation and loneliness.As Ann paints, her “movements [become] precise and deliberate.” The almost exaggerated awareness in the way she proceeds with her chores illustrates her attempts at detaching herself from the reality of her isolation.The weather outside deteriorates as her concern for her husband increases.


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