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Isolation In Sinclair Ross's 'The Painted Door'

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Sukarno, first president of Indonesia, in office from 1945 to 1967, conveys, “The worst cruelty that can be inflicted on a human being is isolation”. In other words, Sukarno believes that seclusion is the greatest punishment an individual can receive. Often, people are affected by isolation on the mental and emotional levels. Individuals begin to perceive situations differently and are influenced to make shameful choices. For example, in Sinclair Ross’s short story, “The Painted Door,” the main character, Ann, lives her life in isolation from most of society. Ann is a young and caring woman living on a farm with her husband, John. They are facing troubles in their marriage, since their ideals of a fulfilling life differ from one another. Her husband is set to travel seventeen miles to assist his aging father on the farm. Ann is against John’s voyage because the storm brewing risks his safety and would leave her alone to care for the animals. However, John is able to convince her by inviting a friend to come over for dinner and promising her that he will return at supper to join them; the circumstance fuels a night of lonesome emotions that propels her to commit a remorseful decision. One might argue that the author uses the narrative archetype of The Fallen Woman, irony, and symbolism, to suggest, that isolation leads an individual to question her values and commit regrettable decisions.

John prepares to leave on a journey to his father’s house. Before he departs, John
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