In the story, “The Painted Door,” Sinclair Ross creates a mood of bitter cold, extreme isolation and loneliness. For the environmental means, the story is set in winter and there is a large snowstorm coming. The isolation of the farmland is made abundantly clear when we learn the closest neighbouring farm is “five miles away.” The physical setting of the environment is important to a good story as it reflects the moods and emotions of the characters and it gives the reader a glimpse into how the characters are feeling. The environment of a story can also be used to bring out issues between the characters or as a technique for foreshadowing what is to come later in the story. The mental setting of Ann is that of the physical environment. She has turned cold and indifferent toward her husband John; her feelings are stormy because she longs for another man but struggles with the guilt of it all. Both of these physical and mental settings contribute to the climax and conclusion of the story. The repetition of Ann’s feelings of boredom, loneliness and indifference all contribute to the reader really understanding her emotional turmoil. Ross also uses the physical description of the storm to describe the feelings of Anne towards the two men. She is conflicted and is going back and forth between hot and cold for both John and Steven. This emotion is also made clear with the help of describing the fire in the stove going from hot to cold and back to hot again. Sinclair Ross does a great job at using the flames and heat of the fire to describe her unresolved feelings for not only her husband, but for Steven as well. A great deal of this story is spent describing Ann’s environment, both inside and outside of her home. The barrenness of the surroundings in which the characters live is probably the most vividly expressed theme of the entire story and gives clues to how it is possible for Anne to engage...
...Brea McGillivray & Devan Buchanan
February 23, 2013
Ann’s motivation for the affair comes from a number of psychological theories and reasons. A big part of her wanting to cheat was because she was not satisfied with her and John’s sexual relationship and needed to give in to her Id. By sleeping with Steven, she was giving into her Id (desire for sex). Even though she was unhappy, she feared confrontation and would never actually say anything to John because she knows that he only works as hard as he does because he wants to provide for her. This is part of the problem she is having – him working is leaving no time for them to enjoy their relationship. She had been making comparisons between her husband and Steven for the entire time that they had been married, and was always subconsciously lusting for him.
Parapraxia; an accidental slip up that reveals inner thoughts/desires. While John is away, the thought of being with Steven is continually slipping into her mind. She catches her slip-ups, and then tries to convince herself otherwise even though her subconscious knows exactly what she really wants. She is comparing John and Steven and revealing who and what she truly wants. “While John, she made the comparison swiftly, was thickest, heavy-jowled, and stooped. He always stood before her helpless, a kind of humility and wonderment in his attitude. And Stephen now smiled on her appraisingly with the worldly-wise assurance of one for...
...First English Essay on “The PaintedDoor”
“Big stubborn fool – he goes his own way anyway. It doesn’t matter what becomes of me. In a storm like this he’ll never get home. He won’t even try.” This passage is an excerpt taken from Sinclair Ross’ “The PaintedDoor.” In context, this quote exemplifies the protagonist, Ann’s, inner struggle to put proper faith in her husband, John, whose absence during a devastating storm leaves her brooding, ultimately leading her down the forsaken path of adultery. Ross’ evident theme throughout “The PaintedDoor,” is mainly centered on the misconduct of infidelity. Contained in the short story “The PaintedDoor,” Sinclair Ross proposes that Ann’s fidelity is compromised as a result of an internal display of weak character; these traits include her selfishness, her acts of vacillation, and her perfidious qualities.
Selfishness is a poor quality that all people posses. It defines someone only concerned primarily with their own interests or benefits, regardless of others. Throughout “The PaintedDoor,” Ann shows numerous examples of why she displays a sense of selfishness. “It isn’t right to leave me here alone. Surely I’m as important as your father” (225). This quotation portrays a suitable contrast of character between both Ann and John. John, exhibiting selfless and caring traits, wants only to...
Within modern day couples, a healthy relationship is made up of the right amount of time to be together and the appropriate time for each individual. Sinclair Ross' short story The PaintedDoor, is about a wife that commits adultery due to the isolation she feels from her husband. The story begins with a farmer's wife named Ann, who is left alone for the day while her husband John, leaves to visit his father in a massive blizzard. Ann is already more than upset with her boring marriage and the little time she currently spends with her husband. She can only dream of a more exciting and lively lifestyle. Throughout the miserable day, Steven, John's good friend, visits the house to keep her company. As the day progresses, the disappointment Ann feels towards her husband, turns into a new found guilty pleasure for Steven. John is made up of many flaws while Steven is everything she ever imagined and thus she falls into infidelity. The boring lifestyle and constant sense of loneliness reinforce Ann's decision to take part in acts of unfaithfulness and lust. This can be seen through her need for an exciting new change, the lack of communication within the relationship, and the self neglect of John.
Throughout Ann's marriage, the constant routine in her day to day life increasingly justifies her need for a new experience. Being a farmer's wife, Ann's personal needs are never addressed and she shows...
Breaking of Bonds
“No man is an island, entire of itself”. This quote from John Donne, states that no person could live there life without communication from people around them. They must live in an environment where they can communicate freely with someone even if it would be just one person; but what would happen to someone who does not receive or give proper communication? In the story, The PaintedDoor a wife named Ann lives in a deserted country side where communication with other people is hard to come by. Her husband, John, is the only person who she has by her side on a day to day basis, yet he does not put Ann as his first priority due to his obsession with working hard to pay of his debts. Due to this she feels as though she is locked out of society and resorts to secluding her own personal feelings from anyone around her. Even though she is unable to find the love that she once had for John she is able to see that Steven is able to provide her with the many necessities that John is unable to give her. Throughout the story, Ann struggles to find the love she once had for John causing her to break her bonds with him. She begins to break her bonds through lack of attention, Seclusion of personal feelings as well as finding new love in Steven.
Throughout the story Ann always talks bout how she is unable to receive the...
...narrator creates imagery in the mind giving us Ann’s thoughts and feelings very descriptively. In reference to the text, the narrator says “the sudden, maniac raging of the storm struck from her face all its pettishness.” Coming from a third person limited point of view the story is more like a news reporter giving us every detail from Ann’s perspective. It reinforces my understanding a bit more by knowing how Ann feels as an isolated farm wife. A lot of the story is based on Ann’s dreadfulness of being alone, her constrained movements, her brooding thoughts about her loveless marriage, the temptation of wanting to satisfy her wants with Steven.
b. I thought that John was really innocent and didn’t deserve Ann.
a. The setting is described to have taken place during winter season, in a prairie farmland. The era is typically in the nineteenth century.
b. The winter seems to carry an effect on Ann, which makes her dread the long boring winters and leaves her longing for the spring. The cold winter season could represent the cold dark feeling she has about her marriage. The storm has a huge effect on John, which is the cause of his death.
a. Irony is incorporated into the story when you would expect Steven to be a good friend to support Ann and John’s marriage, but instead he was more of the shady person to betray his friend John. From the moment Steven arrived, he did show courtesy for Ann,...
Is John Guilty of Causing Ann to Commit Adultery ? It is evident that John is guilty of causing Ann to Commit adultery in Sinclair Ross’s “The PaintedDoor.” John’s desire, for instance, reveals his intentions. In addition, John’s low self-esteem suggests his motive. Finally, the card game showed us that John planned and deliberately caused Ann to commit adultery. The purpose of John’s action is to make Ann happy. John believes that Ann is the most important person in his life as he was described on Pg. 48 "… naively proud of Ann.” He believes that "it seemed only right that she should have [the best].” To John, Ann deserves a man better than a dull-witted man like himself. When John learned that Ann liked the companionship of Steven (Pg. 52 Once she had danced with Steven six or seven times in the evening, and they talked about it for as many months.), he conceived the plan for Ann and Steven to fall in love. Owing to John's love and devotion to Ann, he causes Ann to commit adultery with Steve. John’s intention or the reason for his action is his low self-esteem. John had so little faith in himself that he did not believe that he can fulfill his wife’s desires. On Pg. 49, John described one of Ann's needs, "That's what you need, Ann - someone to talk to beside me.” When Ann reveals to us that John does not often talk to her, Pg. 50 That's what I need - someone to talk to, John never talks, we...
The natural landscape and the winter storm in “The PaintedDoor” serve as a metaphor for Ann’s sense of isolation. Sinclair Ross, the author of the short story, intelligently uses imagery to add atmosphere to the story and enhance the readers understanding of the emotions and mood of the protagonist, Ann. The isolation of the farmland is made abundantly clear as we learn the closest neighbouring 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. Ann cannot seem to surpass the emotional blocks John has put up. Her words are “chilled” as she speaks to John indicating how she has turned cold and indifferent toward her husband. 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. Ann is feeling alienated from John and the storm is representing that alienation physically “isolating her [there] alone.” The earth is entirely “snowswept”. The bareness and simplicity of the surroundings, the...
...information in a short space of time. As a result, the short story usually leaves a great deal of its content open to interpretation and examination by the reader. Also, the denouements of short stories frequently remain inconclusive and unfulfilled. Together, these attributes add to the action and intriguing character of this genre of literature.
An essential element of the short story is to make the personal events experienced by the characters universally understood by the reader. The story must present themes which are relevant to the reader, in order for it to make an impression. For this reason, short stories tend to be based on some type of controversy or debatable issue. In Sinclair Ross' highly metaphorical short story "The PaintedDoor", the explicit theme is centered on adultery. However, there are other, more subtle, motifs in the story that play a very significant a role in its success. The themes essential in making the protagonist's adultery understandable are the landscape, her isolation, and the feelings of betrayal and guilt that she experiences following the central act of the story.
A great deal of this story is spent describing Ann's environment, both inside and outside her house. The story takes place in the past, before automobiles or telephones. Ann and her husband are settlers in a largely uninhabited and desolate area of North America (perhaps Saskatchewan). The starkness of the land is described early in the story:...