Doors as a Part of Life and Culture


Doors have been a subject of stories, myths, movies and even puzzles. For example, the Monty Hall problem tells about having to pick one of three doors (behind which are two goats and one with a car the grand prize). Suppose you pick door A and the game show host reveals door B has a goat behind. The host then asks you whether you should stick with door A or shift to door C. However, will it matter if you change your choice? The surprising answer is indeed it matters. With new information the chances of winning indeed change.

Doors as a part of life and culture

Aside from puzzles, doors have been used a lot in stories. For example, opening a door and going inside marks a new adventure. In contrast, closing the door behind or if it shuts down automatically sounds like a horror movie where it’s now impossible to escape. And just like with the puzzle above, having several doors means having several choices in front of you. You can’t afford making a mistake because it’s a life or death situation (or your friends’ lives are at stake, there might be a treasure or just a portal to another dimension).

In other words, doors are about revelations or a start of a new story. The decision to pick one of the doors or whether to enter or stay back reflects the reality we face every day. Each day and perhaps most times we have to make a decision. Whether it’s a small or big decision, we take the time to weigh our options because we don’t want to make a mistake.

What doors symbolise are our daily struggles, choices and dilemmas. Every entry or exit through a door marks the start of something new or just the story of the day (such as when going to work or welcoming a guest). Each door means something even though it’s just a regular part of homes and workplaces.

How the door looks and feels also set expectations. In stories and movies, a huge black door can mean something terrifying is inside the mansion. If it’s a huge welcoming door, it means something good and safe. It’s not just what’s behind that matters, but also how the door sets the pace and expectation about the story.