Anne lives a very isolated life. As a farmer’s wife, she has few people to talk to. Her husband John is devoted but simple.
Anne lives with her husband John, a farmer. John’s father’s house is five miles away. In the winter, when the story takes place, the farmhouse is even more secluded. John works constantly, trying to pay off the farm and buy Anne nice clothes. Even when John comes home, he and Anne have little in common.
That's all I need—someone to talk to. John never talks, tie's stronger—he doesn't understand.
Anne and John do not have conversations. They do not share with each other. They do not have passion.
Besides her husband not talking, Anne has another problem. Her neighbors are boring too.
The neighbours, too—why go visiting them when still it was the same—crops and cattle, the weather and the other neighbours?
Anne’s frustration is manifested in her desire to try to take control of her life by painting the bedroom door. She hasn’t done it because it has been cold, but since John will be gone awhile she figures she has time. She is trying to save her marriage. When Steven comes, she forgets that she has painted the door. Her fidelity is childish, she decides. She does not regret cheating on John. She needs someone who will understand her.