Ann is objected to fight an inner conflict with herself. She wants more than what she getting from John, because she feels she is young, and deserves to live a happier life before she gets older. She wants to not feel isolated anymore, because the loneliness is finally catching up with her, and making her desolate to her marriage with John. Ann needs to escape this betrayal with herself, and her silence is what speaks. John does not notice his neglect towards her, because he is busy working hard to support her with all she needs in life. However, with her torn feelings for John, it makes it harder when someone more younger and handsome looking like Steven steps in the picture, because it makes Ann feel like she has settled for less when she should be having more. This inner conflict leads Ann to have a very fragile mindset, she notices all little things and is very frigid. Each noise made, Ann notices, as the fire crackles it takes away from the silence, as the wind moans, and as the clock ticks, it gives Ann a little sense of ease. Another answer to her silence is the fire that is a chance to overcome the silence as it constantly “spits and crackles”. When Ann paints the door white there is symbolism of purity and innocence in that, however this paint will not stay, it always seems to have a way to rubbing off because of the cold weather, and the idea of is what Ann doing really innocent?
Reflecting back to Ann’s infidelity to her husband, she comes to realization that she is unhappy with her lifestyle. The comfort of having Steven there that she can actually have a conversation with, is more eluding then John who does not talk. The comparison to her husband and Steven is one that shows what Ann really wants, and the fact that it is more lenient to Steven infers that the silence of her unhappiness with John is what is pushing her betrayal. Relating this back to the door Ann is painting as she says “as if another coat of paint could make a difference anyway” which seems as though she’s not trying to cover up the cracks in the door, but covering up her emotions. The door can also represent separation between her and John, because in the end she is on the inside of the door with Steven, and John is alone on the outside. Ann’s happiness is tested when her guilty conscious catches up with her in her bedroom and she realizes that, “John always came” and “John was the man”.
Essentially, Ann had regrets towards Steven, before she even knew John was there, to the point where she left Steven who at one point made her feel warmth and happiness to face the reality and even confide in the cold rather than go