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The Painted Door
Transcript of The Painted Door
2. Author's opinion
3. Short Summary
4. Thematic Statement
8. Literary Devices
9. External Connections
11. Discussion Questions Table of Contents Sinclair Ross Author's Opinion 1. Adultery
3. Isolation TOPICS SHORT
SUMMARY PLOT GRAPH Tone Diction Literary Devices The Insecure Women External Connections 1. Feminist
2.Philosophical Philosophies What if the tables were turned and John came home in the stormed and survived?
Would he still chose to stay with Ann?
What if John was cheating on Ann? How would this change the plot?
Rewrite the end of the story, but this time, John came home and caught Ann 'sharing a bed' with another man. Be creative!
Why do you think people cheat in a relationships? Discussion Questions TRY AND BE CLEAN!
Every time you input your opinion into our class discussions, dip your hand in the pant and pick a spot on the door! Our Painted Door Ann and her husband John live on a farm in rural Saskatchewan. It's set in the 1800's during a snow storm. Ann's husband decides to travel to his father’s farm to help him with chores, even though a snow storm has started and is incredibly dangerous. Ann tries to keep herself busy around the house so that she won't worry about her husband, and paints the door to the house. Later on their neighbour, Stephen, comes by to help Ann with the chores, but it turns into a scandalous night in bed. Ann soon after realizes what she did was wrong and regrets it. 1. John and Ann discuss whether he should leave to help his father or not. John goes even though Ann doesn’t want him to. 2. Ann is left alone and busies herself with chores. 6. John’s body is found the next day south of their home trying to come back to her. 3. Stephen comes over and finishes Ann’s chores for her. She also compares Stephen and John. 4. John and Ann sleep together. 5. Ann regrets her actions immediately.
“They were safe, alone. No one would ever know “(Sinclair,302)
“She knew now. She had not let herself understand or acknowledge it as guilt before, but gradually through the wind-torn silence of the night his face compelled her” (Sinclair, 302) ADULTERY “But he’s an old man living there all alone. What is it Ann? You’re not like yourself this morning” (Ross,288)
““You ought to know by now I wouldn’t stay away” he tried to brighten her “No matter how it stormed. Twice a week before we were married I never missed and there were bad blizzards that winter too “” (Ross,289)
“To him it seemed only right that she would have the clothes only right that he, fit for nothing else, should slave away fifteen hours a day to give them to her. There was in his devotion a baffling, insurmountable humility that made him feel the need to sacrifice. And when his muscles ached, when his feet dragged stolidly with weariness then
it seemed that in some measure at least he was making
amends for his big hulking body and simple mind.” (Ross,292) Marriage “And on my way ill drop in a Steven’s place maybe he’ll come over tonight for a game of cards. You haven’t seen anybody but me for the last two weeks.” (Ross,289) Isolation Feminist Approach Women portrayed as weak and incapable of living alone
" She began to think about it now. Thoughts that outstripped her words, that left her alone again with herself and the ever-lurking silence. Eager and hopeful first; then clenched, rebellious and lonely." Throughout the story, while it might be expected (given the time period of the 1920's) that Ann would pray for John's safe return, no mentions of prayer or of God are made. She is shown to not entrust John's fate to God, this perhaps being on purpose (the absence of God/religion) by Ross.
The moral statement relates to appreciation of what one has - Ann doesn't appreciate or feel happy in her life with John, but by the time she comes to realize her love for John, it is too late.
Evil is shown in Ann and Steven's lustful, unfaithful, sinful nature, and good is shown in John, who puts himself at risk for his Father and Wife, and who "always comes back". Ann realizes the sin her and Steven have committed, and repents and regrets it, but is unable to be forgiven by John. Through this inability to be forgiven for her sin, Ann will live with what she has done for the rest of her life - seemingly furthering the idea that you can never truly let go of your sins once they have been committed.
Ross shows a sort of dislike of human nature in The Painted Door, as the simple, loyal man's wife is depressed and betrays him. He shows a lack of faith and a distrust in people - mostly women. Philosophical Born James Sinclair Ross on January 22, 1908 near Shelbrook, Saskatchewan Spent four years in the Canadian Army during WWII Joined the Union Bank of Canada (later the Royal Bank of Canada) when he was sixteen His homosexuality was made public near the end of his life, some information of which was provided by a 1997 biography "As For Me and My Body: A Memoir of Sinclair Ross" Known for dealing with subjects revolving around the Canadian prairies Most famous for As For Me and My House, which also deals with themes of isolation Died February 29, 1996 (age 88) in Vancouver, BC of Parkinson's 1. Adultery
3. Marriage - Believes Women to be the perpetrators of adultery - or at least sees them as lustful and easily swayed into being unfaithful
- Believes an unhappy marriage and depression is the root of adultery
- Ross believes that though Steven is John's friend and had sex with his wife, Ann, John's wife, is to take the full blame for her and Steven's actions and betrayal of John
- Adultery can be inspired by women's dependance and reliance on men - Believes marriage is a duty rather than a choice
- Believes Women dependant on Men in marital relationships
- Seems to believe Women to be in Marriage for their own gain, while he believes Men to be married because of duty/honor
- Women are easily tempted creatures - i.e. lustful, unfaithful, indecisive, unhappy
- Men are honorable, loyal, hardworking, independant, family/marriage-oriented
- Women have no life outside of their marriages, and are dependant on men, even if those men are not their marital partners Marriage Adultery - Believes Women cannot be left alone - particularly when their sole use is in their husband ("it's time I was used to staying alone", Ross, 2)
- Believes Isolation will test and perhaps divide relationships
- Doesn't believe that humans should be isolated (as well, doesn't seem to think Women should be left alone)
- Ross seems to believe that human nature is exposed in situations dealing with isolation - that human nature, along with] relationships, are put to the test when under the stress of isolation
- Cabin fever is applicable, and Ross seems to believe in it, as Ann shows symptoms of the reaction, as well as she is put in a situation defined as a set up for cabin fever
- Thinks that marriage isolates Women (and perhaps people in general) - "the brute-tired stupid eyes he turned on her if she ever mentioned town or visiting", (Ross, 4) Isolation Sinclair Ross Caroline, Olivia, Ena Contemporary
- Contractions > ""There's nothing to be afraid of now, though. I'm going to do the chores for you." (Ross, 10) > ""I think I'll walk," John said at breakfast to his wife. "The drifts in the hills wouldn't hold a horse, but they'll carry me alright." (Ross, 1) > "then drinking off his coffee", Ross, 1
> ""Maybe he'll come over for a game of cards", Ross, 2
> "Nothing but the sane appraisal of their situation, nothing but the expectant little smile, and the arrogance of features that were different from John's, they must in themselves be her justification." Ross, 16 Diction (continued) - Mentions of more modern items
- Polysyllabic > "But shivering and numb it had been easier. The bodily well-being that the warmth induced gave play again to an ever more insistent mental suffering. She remembered the shadow that was John. She saw him bent towards her, then retreating, his features pale and overcast with unaccusting grief." (Ross, 15) - Poetic > "Then she stole back to the kitchen, and without thought, impelled by overwhelming need again, returned to the door where the draft was bitter still. Gradually towards morning the storm began to spend itself. Its terror became a feeble, wornout moan. The leap of light and shadow sank, and a chill crept in again. Always the eaves creaked, tortured with wordless prophecy. Heedles of it all the clock ticked on in idiot content." (Ross, 17)
Confident, comfortable ``He shouldn`t have gone,`` she whispered silently. `He saw the double wheel-he knew. He shouldn`t have left me here alone.`` (Ross,9) Sad, desperate, lonely ``It was good of you to come, Steven.`` She responded, the words running into a sudden, empty laugh. `Such a storm to face- I suppose I feel flattered.`` (Ross,10)
Sexual ````It`s too rough of a night,`` he repeated. ``Even for John. Just relax for a few minutes- stop worrying and pay a little attention to me.`` (Ross,10) Irony
``Its time I was use to staying alone.`` (Ross,2)
`` They found him the next day less than a mile from home.``(Ross,17)
``Such a storm to face- I suppose I feel flattered.`` (Ross,10)
- fire ``He always comes back.``
- snow ``In blizzards like this one? Up on the hill he
- isolation wouldnt be able to keep his direction-" (Ross,16) Ann = Bella
Steven= Jacob Both women feel incapable of being independent, so they resort to "the other man" when their husbands are away.
Jacob makes Bella feel safe and truely helps her through her difficult time period, while Steven helps Ann do her chores and get comfortable during the storm. Cooking and Cleaning Writer's opinion on females " I'll get them a good supper- and for coffee tonight after cards bake some of the little cakes with raisins that he likes... In Sinclair Ross' short story,The Painted Door, adultery is shown to be a result of isolation, depression and a wife's dependance on the strength of men. Thematic Statement