The short story "The Painted Door" by Sinclair Ross is set in a farmhouse on a prairie during a winter blizzard. The wife named Ann stays at the farmhouse, while her husband John travels five miles through the nearby hills to visit his father.
The story chronicles Ann's desperation and descent into madness when she is left alone in the silence and isolation of the house. To distract herself from the silence, while waiting for her husband to return, Ann paints the door in the kitchen. She begins talking to herself about her dissatisfaction with her life, and eventually chooses to satisfy herself with the neighbor Steven after he arrives.