The imagery behind Ann’s loneliness The Short story, The Painted door, by Sinclair Ross, follows the life of a woman and a man living on a quiet, secluded farm. The woman, Ann, is a very confused person who is seemed to be unsatisfied with her marriage. Her Husband, John, is a very hard working farmer who works his hardest so that he can provide for him and his wife.
He enjoys the simpler things in life, yet his wife, Ann, cannot. Nothing is good enough for her. Her selfish ways are evident in her attitude toward the material things in her home environment and in the way she treats her husband.Through the heavy use of imagery in the story “The Painted door” Ross effectively shows how lonely Ann is.
From the beginning of the story the theme of loneliness is introduced almost immediately. “The sun was risen above the frost mists now, so keen and hard a glitter on the snow that instead of warmth its rays seemed shedding cold. ” Ann also states it was time she got used to staying home alone. We see that the sun has risen, however, it is shown that it feels like the sun was shedding rays of cold.
This sentence is paradoxical as the word sun has connotations of heat and happiness, and the word cold has connotations of loneliness. Both of these two terms are effective at affecting our mood and leaves the reader lost and unsure how to feel. By saying that the sun is shedding these waves of cold or loneliness Ross is actually using the sun to show the progression of Ann’s loneliness. When a person is lonely they can go to extreme measures to get rid of their loneliness.
This is shown through when Ann decides to spend the night with Steven even though she knows she is in a committed relationship with her husband John.After sleeping with Steven, Ann wakes up and watches the shadows flicker against the wall. We then see stated in the story “Yet though it never reached her still she cowered, feeling that gathered there was all the frozen wilderness, its heart of terror and invincibility. ” Ross uses very heavy diction within this line.
When hearing the words “heart of terror” the thought of evil crosses our minds, by combining this evil with the word “invincible” one can assume that the feeling of loneliness felt by Ann was so great it drove her to complete and utter betrayal to her husband,John. At this point of the story there is some dramatic irony, Ann was seeking companionship throughout the story but when it came to her it brought her to even more loneliness. When a person is lonely we tend to over think things. The repetition of paradoxical terms symbolize a lonely person’s drifting mind, and in this case, Ann’s.
Loneliness is most commonly associated with fear. In this case it is the fear of being alone, and fear of dying alone and old. The frost in the walls on a day like this would crack and peel it as it dried, but she needed something to keep her hands occupied, something to stave off the gathering cold and loneliness. ” When the words “crack” and “peel” are together, the idea that is connected with these two words is that of old .
This shows Ann’s true fear of loneliness and her fear of being alone for the rest of her life. Although she is in a loving and committed relationship with John, she is unable to appreciate him for who he is. This shows the reader more about Ann and her personality, and suggests that perhaps Ann is not totally grateful for her husband.The use of imagery allows us to have a relationship with Ann through the use of the environment around her.
Ross uses such powerful imagery so that we can connect and try to relate with Ann sufficiently The Painted Door is a story that effectively shows the loneliness of character. However, what’s interesting is not the theme itself, but the method in which Ross chose to present the theme throughout the story. He was able to deliver them in such a way which makes the reader feel the pain of loneliness through the use of imagery.