Short Stories: Painted Door

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The Painted Door” is a short story by Sinclair Ross that explores the discontent and isolation felt by Ann, a farmer’s wife living on the prairie during a harsh winter. Throughout the story, there are early indications of Ann’s dissatisfaction with her marriage to John, including her desire for him to stay home and her attraction to Steven, a neighbor. While her dissatisfaction may be partially explained by the bleak setting, it also seems rooted in her own feelings of loneliness and neglect.After John leaves the house during a snowstorm, Ann’s sense of isolation grows and the natural landscape serves as a metaphor for her emotional state. The growing storm outside parallels Ann’s feelings of anxiety and despair. When Steven arrives and they have a brief affair, it becomes clear that Ann’s actions were not entirely intentional, but rather a result of her pent-up emotions.Ann’s sense of guilt almost immediately begins to manifest itself, and she resolves to confess to John when he returns. If John had returned that night, it is unclear whether Ann would have followed through with her resolution. Throughout the story, there are several symbols and motifs, including the painted door, the snowstorm, and the natural landscape, which add depth and meaning to the story.The author’s style is effective in conveying the bleakness and isolation of the prairie setting, as well as the internal struggles of the characters. The ending of the story may come as a surprise to some readers, but Ross has carefully prepared the reader for the tragic outcome through extensive foreshadowing.Overall, the theme of the story is that even the most seemingly content relationships can be destroyed by isolation, neglect, and pent-up emotions. In a creative written response, a letter from either Steven or Ann expressing their thoughts and feelings about the events after John’s discovery could delve further into this theme and provide insight into the characters’ motivations and emotions.”

Table of Content

Short Stories “The Painted Door” by Sinclair Ross After reading the story, answer the following questions in writing, using compl ete sentences. Each question is worth 5 marks, and so should include approxima tely five meaningful sentences. What early indications in the story suggest Ann’s discontent with her marriage to John? TO what extent do you think this is justified? TO what extent might her dissatisfaction be explained by the Isolation and bleakness of the prairie wint er setting? 2. What effect does loneliness have on Ann after John leaves the house? In what ways does the natural landscape serve as a metaphor for Ann’s emoti Onal “landscape”? How does the growing storm outside parallel Ann’s feelings? 4. Choose ONE of the following statements and either support or refute it using evidence from the story. a. Ann’s act with Steven was committed on purpose, as a clear statement of defiance after seven years of “everlurking silence”. b. Steven is an opportunist who quickly assesses the situation and is confident that he can take advantage of it. c. John is a victim ” not of the snow, but of his wife’s betrayal. How does Ann’s sense of guilt almost immediately begin to manifest itself? What does she resolve to do? Had John returned that night as he did, and the story were to continue, do you think Ann would do this? Explain. 6. Identify any symbols or motifs that you found in the story. What did they add to the story? 7. Describe the author’s style. Comment on the effectiveness of that style in rela tion to the story’s content or theme. 8. Some readers regard the ending as a surprise ending, yet it shouldn’t come as urprise since Ross has carefully prepared the reader for the outcome throug h extensive foreshadowing.

Identify some of the signs of the inevitably tragic resolution of the story. 9. Without using the words “all”, “every’, “always” or “never’, write a theme statement that is true to the characters in the story. Creative Written Response (Bonus) Choose either Steven or Ann. As that character, write a letter to the other cha racter expressing his or her thoughts and feeling about the events after the discover yofJ0hn. Your response should be at least 300 words, typed or hand drafted.

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Short Stories: Painted Door. (2018, Apr 05). Retrieved from

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