Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

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Isolation Sinclaire Ross' "The Painted Door", paints an image of loneliness, isolation and inner struggle. Ross uses literary devices such as setting and pathetic fallacy to illustrate Ann's inner struggle.

The theme of isolation can be clearly detected as the first line in the story reads, "Straight across the hills it was five miles from John's farm to his father's. But in the winter the roads were impassable..." (288) Physically Ann is alone. John's departure leaves Ann with no one to talk to, and no one to listen to, except her thoughts. As Ann deals with her inner turmoil she realizes that she is alone, not just physically but emotionally as well. "That's all I need, someone to talk to". (291) John's absence allows Ann to think about life without him.

Ann's thoughts and confusions can be compared directly to the storm itself. The storm twists and turns violently , "A gust of wind spun her forward a few yards, then plunged her head long against a drift that in the dense white whirl lay invisible along her path."

(296) One minute she misses John, the next she questions her love for him, "But John, of course couldn't understand." (291) The storm enhances the underlying tone of the story by creating chaos in her life while accenting her inner chaos as well.

Ann's loneliness is pushed to a forte by the cold harsh surroundings. The fact that the story takes place during winter creates almost an eerie silent undertone. With no one else to talk to the silence grows, "...the frozen silence of the bitter fields..." (290) Feelings of despair and loneliness are pushed forward as Ann stands by the window waiting, "eager and hopeful first; then clenched rebellious and lonely." (291) She realizes that no matter how many...