Ross also uses the physical description of the storm to describe the feelings of Anne towards the two men.
She is conflicted and is going back and forth between hot and cold for both John and Steven.
Ann’s geographic isolation eventually intensifies her feelings of loneliness to the point where she feels even alienated from her own husband.
Although John knew the they “could expect a storm,” he left Ann alone amongst the “ever-lurking silence” to go help his father.
For the environmental means, the story is set in winter and there is a large snowstorm coming.
The isolation of the farmland is made abundantly clear when we learn the closest neighbouring farm is “five miles away.” The physical setting of the environment is important to a good story as it reflects the moods and emotions of the characters and it gives the reader a glimpse into how the characters are feeling.
As Ann walks out the doorway she realizes how “the wind [is striking] from all sides, blustering and furious.” The blizzard is so ferocious that by the time she returns to the house, she realizes that if her husband had ventured home in the storm, he has little chance of surviving the journey.However, Ann feels this only “deprives her of his companionship” which further adds to Ann’s sense of isolation.The storm parallels Ann and John’s broken relationship and “dry and empty” lives.As Ann paints, her “movements [become] precise and deliberate.” The almost exaggerated awareness in the way she proceeds with her chores illustrates her attempts at detaching herself from the reality of her isolation.The weather outside deteriorates as her concern for her husband increases.The environment of a story can also be used to bring out issues between the characters or as a technique for foreshadowing what is to come later in the story.The mental setting of Ann is that of the physical environment.The isolation of the farmland is made abundantly clear as we learn the closest neighboring farm is “five miles away,” and even then it would seem longer as the roads are “impassable.” However, Ann’s isolation is not entirely physical, she also feels very emotionally isolated from the one person who is supposed to be there with her.The emotional setting of Ann is that of the physical environment, isolated, bitter, and cold.In this way, we can empathize with Ann through the descriptive passages of her bleak surroundings.Her attempts to keep herself occupied during the absence of her husband by carrying on with the household chores further emphasizes the sense of boredom in her life.