Analysis of "The Painted Door" Short story written by Sinclair Ross

Essay by Deez-NutzCollege, UndergraduateA, September 2008

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When people are lonely and bored, they tend to reflect on their lives and the issues they have. This is precisely what happens in Sinclair Ross's "The Painted Door", where the author explores adultery, a topic which was taboo back in the thirties, the time when the story takes place. This is a story about a woman named Ann, who, ironically, discovers her true feelings for her husband, John, by cheating on him with his best friend, Steven.

John decides to invite Steven, so that the latter would keep his wife company while he is gone to help his father before a huge storm hits. Ann however, is dissatisfied with John because she feels that he does not show her enough attention. She is, however, being hypocritical when she says: "It isn't right to leave me here alone. Surely I'm as important as your father."(136/435) John's father is an elderly man who can really use some help before a huge storm.

Ann on the other hand is being selfish by demanding John to stay with her. Ann's dissatisfaction further continues when she sarcastically mentions: "Plenty to eat - plenty of wood to keep me warm - what more could a woman ask for?"(136/435) Furthermore, she feels that John, "a slow, unambitious man, content with his farm and cattle, naively proud of Ann"(137/436), is not exciting and she does not agree with his plans for their future. Ann wants to enjoy life while she is still young, while John wants to work as much as possible to rid himself of all debts and to be able to provide his wife with anything that she desires. He worked from sunrise to sunset to "prove his devotion and fidelity"(138/438), but this is not what she wanted and ironically all this hard work...