Ann and her husband John lived on a farm in rural Saskatchewan in the 1800’s. The couple were living in a largely uninhabited and desolate area of Saskatchewan.
It was vast and bleak a wilderness that testifies of human hardihood and endurance. The barrenness of the surroundings in which Anne and John lived was almost unbearable, isolation and loneliness. The prairies of Saskatchewan are covered with snow with blue sky during winter. During a snow storm Ann’s husband decides to travel on snowshoes to his father’s farm to help him.John gets ready and to brave the oncoming storm to his father’s house; Ann does not want him to go and leave her alone. Against Ann’s requests he leaves anyway.
Without consulting Ann, he stops by their neighbour Steve’s house and asks s if he will come over to help her and keep her company. After John leaves, throughout the day Ann fights off loneliness and despair and tries to distract herself from dwelling on negative aspects of her life. The emptiness of her surroundings point to the feelings of emptiness and loneliness inside of her. Ann keeps herself occupied by painting the door.
This symbolizes the desperation that she suffers because she feels the need to fill a sense of emptiness, regret and loneliness that appears to be overtaking Ram 1 her life. She searches for her human identity. The door represents the means of mobility, access, escape, movement and transition.
The weather outside gets worse as her concern for her husband increases. She ventures outside the safety and warmth of the house to feed the horses in the stable. The blizzard is so ferocious that by the time she returns to the house, she realises that if her husband had ventured home in the storm, he has little chance of surviving.After Ann has a terrifying experience with the snowstorm Steve comes to her home. A lot of things go through her mind, infidelity, guilt, and condemnation. Eventually she gives in to Steve’s appeal. Ann and Steve were in bedroom when the husband arrives at the bedroom painted door.
Ann sees the shadow of her husband looking down on the bed at her and Steven. Ann convinces herself that seeing her husband was just a dream. The very next day Ann found her husband’s dead body close to her house by the fence.
The denouement is attained when Ann sits alone with John’s body and she discovers that there is a smear of paint on his hand.That moment Ann realizes that she loved her husband and now she will be left alone. Landscape scattered across the face of so vast and bleak wilderness it is difficult to conceive Ann as a human hardihood and endurance. Her isolation, feelings of betrayal and guilt she experiences are unimaginable.
Infidelity plays an important part in Ann’s life; she doesn’t stay true to her husband and the consequences are unbearable. “Loneliness, persistence, discovering ones identity, never doubt your one true love, for he would walk 1000 miles to see you, as you would for him. Doubt your love once, and you may regret it forever.