I think this poem tells many great truths of life. First, of a well matched marriage-stubbornness and arguments are normal, either way resulting in the couples undeniable love for one another. The man at first appears selfish and mean to his wife, forcing her to do a simple task that he claims he is too tired to do. The wife has had it. Understandably, she refuses to do this one thing because the woman is always expected to do domestic “chores.” In the end, the man’s love for his wife shines through and the wife, who in my opinion, had the better reason not to lock the door, wins. This situation is just a silly escalation like so many things in life. Something so meaningless and simple becomes this fixation of either side that they must win. These two even go as far as to risk their safety, with really no valuable effect to their strife.
This is a folk ballad which is characterized by being humorous and one subject focused. The subject is conveyed through the literal words written and also ones implied-the implied thoughts are emphasized using literary techniques such as symbolism, repetition, and rhyme. Like a typical ballad, it follows a four line stanza and ABCB rhyme scheme. The title is repeated and variated to suggest the urgency of shutting the door, the danger they subject themselves to by letting the darkness of the night into their house. There is little characterization and the few adjectives used, describe the man and wife as “stubborn.” Though humorous, the ballad has a serious theme.