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The Painted Door

            Sinclair Ross's Use of Symbolism in "The Painted Door".
             "The Painted Door" takes place during settler times on the prairies in North America. The beginning of the story is written as an omniscient narrative; the narrator has knowledge of the thoughts and feelings of both John and Ann. As the story progresses the point of view changes slightly and becomes limited omniscient/third person. The story is told as if the narrator can tell what Ann is thinking, feeling and saying, but not what Steven and John are feeling or thinking, except for what is perceived by Ann's interpretations of their actions. The suspense of the story builds gradually through the duration of the rising action. John gets ready to brave the oncoming storm to go to his father's house; Ann does not want him to go and leave her alone all day. Against Ann's protests he leaves anyway, but not before telling her that he will stop by their neighbour Steve's house and ask if he will come over to help Ann with chores and keep her company. Throughout the day Ann fights off loneliness and despair and tries to distract herself from dwelling on negative aspects of her life. After Ann has a terrifying experience with the snowstorm Steve arrives. A multitude of emotions go through Ann's mind, but she eventually gives in to Steve's appeal. The climax of the story is reached when Ann sees the shadow of her husband looking down on the bed at her and Steven. At this point in the story I thought that John would try to hurt someone. The suspense continues during the falling action. Ann convinces herself that seeing her husband was just a dream. She regrets what she had done and she realizes that she loves her husband the way he is. The next day John's dead body is found surprisingly close to his house. The denouement is attained when Ann sits alone with John's body and she discovers that there is a smear of white paint on his hand.

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