The Painted Door: A Critical Response

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1. Character a. Ann – John and Ann have been married for seven years. Although it may seem after that many years of marriage, the spouses would have great communication with one another, but that isn’t what it seems to be. Ann feels desperate and isolated in what seems to be an unhappy marriage. Ann is labelled as the temperamental and unsatisfied farmer’s wife. In the story, Ann is very selfish and feels no one is ever there for her, which leaves her vulnerable and desperately wanting company. While John is away, his friend Steven drops by to keep Ann accompanied. As time passes, Ann is convinced by Steven that John will not be returning due to the wicked blizzard. Ann compares Steven to John and becomes very attracted to Steven’s handsome looks. As John plans on spending the night, Ann gives in to the temptation and then crawls in to bed with him because she is exceedingly lonely. John –In the early stage of their marriage, John’s obligation is to take on his farming duties without any help just to prove his devotion to Ann. John also wanted a mortgage-free farm, a new house and pretty clothes for Ann, but Ann disapproved. John tried his best to keep Ann happy; however, Ann doesn’t seem to appreciate it. Their marriage has neither communication nor happiness. This leaves John bewildered. One day John was to walk five miles just to help his old father, Ann moodily began to act selfish. John wanted to reassure her that she will be fine, but she would lash sarcastic comments and showed no support of his walk. John also wanted to make sure Ann would be safe and have some company while he was out helping his father with chores, so he dropped in at his friend Stevens place on the way to nicely ask him to drop in later in the evening for a game of cards, and of course to check up on Ann.

Steve – Steve is John’s friend in the story. Steven plays more of the shady friend of John’s. When Steve arrives to check up on Ann, it was as if he knew Ann needed affection and he thought he could please her in a way John couldn’t. He seems to have cruel intentions of getting in to bed with Ann as soon as he arrives to John and Ann’s house. Steve wants this to happen and he continually reminds Ann that John will not be returning home in the monstrous snow storm.

b. Ann makes the choice to cheat on her husband John, with Steven. She does this because she is extremely bored and lonely in her marriage of seven years, and can’t resist the temptation of letting herself loose with Steven. Ann craves for love and affection. She feels John cannot give that to her so she leans toward Steven.

John wants to keep his marriage together. It seems that he puts his wife and father ahead of himself. This shows because John is dedicated to maintain the farm duties independently just to please his wife and that he would walk five miles in a snow storm to help his father with chores. John is the type of person to not realize that Ann is unhappy with their marriage; he is more of bewildered person.

Steve can be seen as the shady friend. Steve see’s right through Ann and senses her weakness. It is without a doubt that Steve is not trustworthy. It is as if Steve knows that he is able to take advantage and come between Ann and John’s marriage. He is motivated to pull this move because he knows that it would be easy to attract Ann.

c. The day after Ann and Steven’s scandalous affair, it is reported that John’s body was found frozen in the snow storm. On John’s hand was a dab of white paint, which leaves Ann realizing that John secretly walked in on Steven and Ann but he decided to let them be and continued his journey back out into the storm.

2. Conflict

a. Character vs. Self

Ann tends to...
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