Sinclair Ross’ The Painted Door: A Review Essay

Sinclair Ross’ use of the motif of the “encroaching storm” in his short story “The Painted Door,” illustrates Ann’s internal struggle that builds continuously throughout the story. Through the use of imagery, Ross emphasizes Ann’s self destruction and her inner struggle of fidelity within her marriage and how that impacts her seven year marriage with John.

Ross’ use of characterization implies that Ann deserves to live a happier live and enjoy it. 1) Ross parallels the exterior storm with the destruction of her seven year marriage with John.

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Ann’s instincts tells her about the upcoming storm in her relationship – “Steven” as she stops John from leaving “it isn’t right to leave me here alone”. Her inner fear “it was the silence weighing upon her” arises with the storm. she distracts herself by painting “it’s a good chance when he’s away to paint” the door . 2)Ross’s use of “snow” and “fire” personifies the two men in Ann’s life.

The comparison between the two characters are shown through the imagery. he fire stands for John because he wants to “ buy pretty clothes for her”, brings “plenty of wood” to keep her warm, and he supported her for seven years. The “chilled” and the “snow” represents her relationship with John and attraction toward steven.

Ann compares the two characters in many ways: John “old and uglier” and Steven “handsome, young and Attractive”. She puts her real happiness- “her seven year marriage” at jeopardy just for her lust that she has towards Steven. ) Ross’s demonstration of Ann’s character emphasises her hardship to have a better life in the future. She helps her husband by “[milks] the cow and hoed potatoes”. She finds her happiness in art, when she paints the door she gets “isolated” from the storm and the outside world. housewife demand “ spend more time with her” after john left the house the feeling of fear and desperation for love and happiness dominated her mind and she inattentively betrayed her husband.

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