Summary Of The Painted Door

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The short story,The Painted Door, by Sinclair Ross, focuses on a woman who commits adultery due to her husband's absence and neglect of emotions. It is set in a rural farming community. It is written in the third person’s perspective and produces high levels of intensity, emotions, and drama. The Painted Door compels the reader to ruminate on the implications long after the reader has finished reading the story through the use of symbolism, and an interpretative plot.
The story is written as an omniscient narrative; the narrator is well aware of the thoughts and feelings of both John and Ann. Ann’s act of showing John her dissatisfaction through the use of her words and movement are described as , “Moodily she went to the window . . . Surely
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At the end of the story, the reader is left with a definite, yet somewhat inconclusive end. It allows the reader to answer certain questions by inferring and gathering clues. For example,was John's death accidental or intentional? Who is responsible for John’s death? John is a victim of snow or his wife’s betrayal? Had John not returned that night as he did, and the if story were to continue, would Ann have made amends? Or would she have continued to some extent with Steven? The sudden termination of the story fails to reveal both what John's motivations were, and what Ann's future holds. The end also makes the moral and themes of the story high interpretative for the readers. It leaves the reader to ponder the "right" ways for an adult to respond to a partner's infidelity, the impact of one’s permission of the will, the role of women in a successful marriage, the obligations of a husband, and test of human nature under the stress of isolation. Ross mentions, “On the palm, white even against its frozen whiteness, was a little smear of paint” (12). This makes the reader ponder about John’s actions and motivations before death, and the connections between the painted door and the married couple. The presence of a shocking and ironic end makes the story highly impactful. It leaves a great deal of the story’s content open to interpretation and examination by the
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