An Whenever the couple read, play cards
An Analysis of John from The Painted Door John, a character of Sinclair Ross’ short story, The Painted Door, is a very admirable character. A struggling farmer, he resides in a small farmhouse alongside his wife of seven years, Ann. During a raging snowstorm, John ventures to his father’s house to assist him. This leaves Ann alienated in the farmhouse.
John arranges for his friend Steven to visit Ann and accompany her during her isolated hours. While he is visiting, Steven seduces Ann, and they ultimately sleep together.After discovering this, John commits suicide by freezing to death in the roaring blizzard outside the farmhouse. A hardworking labourer, John is a diligent, considerate and unappreciated character.
Firstly, John displays that he is diligent. He works independently at his farm, having “never hired a man to help him” (Ross, 3). By working unaccompanied, John does not have to pay another man for his assistance. He uses this saved money to purchase new clothes for Ann, and pay off the mortgage of the farm. Due to his independence, John’s work is extremely grueling.Ross tells the readers, “he should slave away for fifteen hours a day” (3).
John begins his agricultural labour at half past four, and it lasted till ten at night” (3). This constant work leaves John fatigued, resulting in his muscles aching and his feet dragging. Each day John drives the horses through the field, and tends to the farm. However, despite the colossal amount of labour John performs, he is very satisfied with his occupation. Noticing how strenuous John’s work is, Ann suggests, “You’re doing too much. Get a man to help you, just for a month.
” (3).Considering Ann’s proposal, John, proud and content with his work, replies “I don’t mind. Look at the hands on me. They’re made for work. ” (3).
Even throughout the winter months, when no work is to be done, John is still searching for work. He awakens at five to tend the fire, while his true desire is to visit the stable. Engulfed by the “spirit of labour” (3), John rests uneasily, knowing that there are more important things to be done. Whenever the couple read, play cards and visit their neighbours, John is plagued by the guilt of relaxing, and desires to be working.
This passion for work can truly describe John as diligent.His diligent personality is very admirable, as it reflects his persistence and dedication to his job. Furthermore, John exhibits his considerate behaviour. While a violent blizzard is raging outside, John decides to visits his father.
John’s father is “an old man- living all alone” (1). Since he is elderly and cannot work as well as John can, John is thoughtful enough to trek 5 miles through the snowstorm to offer his assistance. John is also a thoughtful character due to the fact that he cherishes Ann. While the burden of a mortgage of the farmhouse is present, John decides to spend the money on Ann.Although “he wanted a mortgage-free farm; then a new house and pretty clothes” (3), John believes that clothing is top priority. He feels that “it seemed only right that she should have the clothes- only right that he, fit to nothing else, should slave away fifteen hours a day to give them to her. ” (3).
These efforts to please his father and wife establish John as a caring character. John’s considerate and generous tendencies define his admirable personality. Although John is extremely hardworking and considerate, his efforts are unappreciated by Ann. John dedicates his life to the farm, which Ann is ungracious towards.Albeit Ann is adorned with new clothes, she is not thankful for the labour required of John to purchase these clothes. The narrator informs the readers of Ann’s ungratefulness, “Paying off the mortgage was something of life that she wanted.
.. not pretty clothes when she would be too old to wear them” (3). While Ann wants the money to pay off the mortgage, she is not pleased that John spends his time working. As stated on page 3, “Working was to deprive her of his companionship, to make him a little duller, older, uglier than he might otherwise have been”.
His demanding efforts to make money goes unnoticed by Ann. His status as her husband is similarly unappreciated. A change of mind enters Ann’s head when Steven enters the farmhouse. Ann begins comparing the two men, Steven as “erect, tall, square-shouldered” (6) while John is “thicket, heavy-jowled and stooped” (6). Steven seduces Ann, which leads to the pair sleeping together.
By cheating on her husband, Ann’s behaviour is not only disloyal, but ungracious also. Steven is also unappreciative of his friendship with John, as betrayed him and slept with his wife.Although John commits himself to pleasing Ann, she is not too content. Since Ann does not notice o respect John’s attempts to gladden her, he is an unappreciated character who should be treated with far greater amount of respect and admiration from fellow characters. Throughout the short story, The Painted Door by Sinclair Ross, John is established as an admirable character. His hardworking and compassionate behaviour emphasizes his admirable personality.
Overall, John is a diligent, considerate and unappreciated character who devoted his life to his wife and his farm.