The late Mr. Popov was described as 'unjust, cruel, and unfaithful' to his overly forgiving wife while John was completely on the other side of the mountain. John loved Ann so much that he worked his hands to the bone 15 hours a day without complaint, just so he could give Ann what he thought she wanted and deserved. He loved and cared for Ann so completely that he even suggested himself that another man should come by the house and keep her company. Contrary to the story, I believe that on some level John knew exactly what could happen, what situations could arise with that other man while he was gone. He knew full well the ferocity of the storm that night and that he probably would not make it home again. Anticipating this, he insisted Steven was to come be with Ann for the while. I think John realized that if he wasn't coming back from this storm, he would see to it that Ann was taken care of. While he didn't know for sure if Steven would be able to provide, John knew he would be able to give Ann the one thing John never could: the satisfaction of having a husband to fully live life together with, rather than a husband who provides the life she lived mostly alone.
Essentially, the contrast between these two stories boils down to the fact that "The Brute" is a non-serious farce, while "The Painted Door" resembles a modern soap opera drama. 80 of "The Brute" consists