Literary Essay

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Short Story Essay
English 11

Topic:
Making reference to three stories in this unit, discuss the authors' use of literary elements (such as symbolism, setting, irony, characterization) to develop their themes. Please note, a key element that you will need to deal with is not only the literary elements, but also the themes (so you will need to clearly identify these).

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Three stories including; “The Painted Door” by Sinclair Ross, “War” by Luigi Pirandello and “Always a Motive” by Dan Ross portray a profound depth of loss and the challenges faced by those experiencing grief. All of these authors develop their themes more fully by using metaphors, descriptive settings and elaborate character details to captivate the reader’s emotions and draw them into the profound sense of despair and grief.

Sinclair Ross in “The Painted Door” uses the setting of an isolated, prairie farm experiencing a cold, stormy, winter day to characterize the relationship between a farmer and his wife. The wife, Ann, feels isolated and alone, as her husband, John, is to venture off to see his father who lives five miles away. She proclaims to her husband, “It isn’t right to leave me here alone. Surely, I’m as important as your father.” She, herself, “seemed futile, lost” longing for something more in this relationship. As the story progresses, Ross continues to describe the barrenness of the surroundings which intensifies Ann’s isolation in the “silence weighing upon her” and her existence is described as “flat” like the prairie that surrounds her. This terrain is a metaphor for Ann’s loneliness and feelings of emptiness. Alone Ann becomes resentful and angry towards John, which leads her to a desperate act of adultery. As the storm abates, so do Ann’s feelings towards John. Her moral conscience comes to the forefront where shame adds to her sense of betrayal as she recalls John’s loving qualities. Later she discovers that John,...
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