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The Lamp at Noon

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Justin lee

on 20 May 2014

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Transcript of The Lamp at Noon

"The Lamp at Noon"
By Sinclaire Ross

The Main Theme of “The Lamp at Noon” is
. The barren land and hopelessness in Ellen are the driving factors of this story. "I don't care-anything would be better than this. Look at the air he's breathing. He cries all the time. For his sake, Paul. What's ahead of him here, even if you do get crops?" (pg 66)

Minor themes:
- Isolation: They lived on an isolated farm, far away from other people.

-Hopelessness: Ellen couldn't stand the wind and dust any longer and wanted to move away.
"I cant stand it any longer. He cries all the time. You will go. Paul- say you will. We aren't living here-not really living--" (pg 65)

Ellen: The determined loving mother of a child that is living in harsh condition and wants to leave behind the farm and move back to the city with her father for the sake of her child at first. She then later changes her mind as the sand storm clears, showing how her hopes were reflected on the environment.Ellen is also portrayed as the protagonist in the short story and remains a static character to the end of the story.

Wind: The wind shows Ellen's hope with Paul while they are arguing. The wind is also shown to be controlling every aspect of their lives and how they’re at the mercy of the environment.

Light: The light shows Ellen's hope

Paul: The father of a child and husband of Ellen. He is portrayed as the antagonist in the perspective of Ellen. Paul chooses to stay in the farm despite them unable to produce crop and finding themselves unable to pay their bills or the interest from the money they borrowed. Viewed as the antagonist in the short story and is also a round and dynamic character.

Ellen's character is a dynamic character and describes her perspective being isolated "I'm so caged if I could only break away and run." (pg68)

Paul is a round and dynamic
The Lamp at Noon
Sinclair Ross
.The story is a
character vs. character
In the short story Ellen and Paul are arguing about leaving the farm

. The story is also a
character vs environment.
The short story shows character vs environment when Paul is struggling to keep everything clean because the dust storm just messes everything up again.

"Do you ever think what my life is? Two rooms to live in-once a month to town,and noting to spend when get there.I'm still young -I wasn't brought up this way."(pg67)

"There is dust in everything. It keeps coming faster than I can clean it up."(pg64)

Point of View
In the short story “The Lamp at Noon” It is a third person, omniscient point of view. The person reading the story is not directly involved with the characters in the story.We as the readers don't know everything that is happening in the story, we only get to see one side of the story at a time. We see Ellen's perspective at first, being desperate and wanting to leave the farm, while we see Paul's perspective and shows us how he is blind to Ellen wanting to move and does not see that she is on-edge.

Plot setup
Character and conflict
Point Of View
-The story takes place on a small, isolated farm in the 1930s during the "Dust Bowl," in Saskatchewan.

-Their house was always being harassed with wind and dust, and their farmland was all desert.

-Their house was filled with dust and dark. They had to light a lamp at noon because of how dark it was. "The lamp at noon" symbolizes the the hopelessness.

-The reason why Ellen wanted to move out of the farm and move into the city was because of the hopelessness of the farm due to the dust and wind. "Look at the sky-whats happening. Are you blind? Thistles and tumbleweeds it's a desert. You wont have a straw this fall. You won't be able to feed a cow or a chicken. Please, Paul say we'll go away."(pg 65)

Question 1
What do you think the title "Lamp at Noon" symbolizes?
Question 2

How would you react to Paul's insistence on staying on the farm if you were Ellen? Why?
Question 3
On pg 72 the author is vague about the baby's health. how do you know if the baby is alive or dead ? Explain your reason?
Question 3

On pg 72 The author is vague about the baby's health. How do you know if the baby is alive or dead? explain your reason?
The short story depicts the image of a family living through the harsh times of the depression in a farm. In the farm lives a man named Paul, his wife Ellen, and their young child. Much has changed for Ellen and Paul because of the depression, including the way Ellen and Paul see each other and everything around them. Paul and Ellen would often argue about the decision to leave the farm. Ellen wants to leave the farm because she feels distant from her husband as he spends most of his time working on the farm instead of being with his family. She also doesn't believe that her family has a good future if they stay in the farm. Paul however, would rather stay on the farm and wait for the dust storms to pass, rather than leave and end up working for Ellen's father, as he doesn't believe in the pride of doing that. Meanwhile, their son's health is faltering because of the dust in the air. After arguing with Ellen, Paul spends some time thinking in his horses' stable, and realizes he cannot provide for his family. He understands Ellen's reasoning and he goes back in the house to speak to her. However, he finds that she has left with the baby and he sets off to find them. He finally finds her outside just as the storm was clearing, and finds his wife and child. "Crouched down against a drift of sand as if for shelter - {with} the child tightly in her arms" (pg72).
Question 4

Paul refers to his farm as "a useless kinsman" (family member). Can you relate to this?
Works Cited:
Mitchell, Ken. "The encyclopedia of saskatchewan:A Living Legacy." Ross, Sinclair. Canadian Plains Research Center, Web. 10 Nov 2013


Ross. Sinclair. Veiwpoints 11: The Lamp at Noon. Toronto, Ontario: Prentice Hall, 2001. 62-73. print
Literary elements
Literary elements:

"He was naked" Pg 70
This showed how he felt after his wife and child ran away

"...the first wind sprang inside the room, distraught like a bird that has felt the gaze of talons on its wing..." Pg 64
This showed how apparent the wind was to Ellen in her life.

"...the sun raced liked a wizened orange" Pg 63
This shows how the sun was being compared to an orange during the storm.

"See, Paul- I stand like this all day. I just stand still- so caged! If I could only run!" Pg 70
This showed how Ellen was prepared to run away from Paul, because of her lack of freedom.
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