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Great Names Of Canadian Literature Essay

2405 words - 10 pages

Modern Canadian literature is inseparably connected with such names as Sinclair Ross, Morley Callaghan, or Margaret Atwood. These famous writers are widely read not only in Canada, but all through the English-speaking world and their short stories have been translated into many languages. In this piece of writing I would like to analyse some of their works, or, at least, have a try at it.The first short-story that I have chosen is The Lamp at Noon written by Sinclair Ross. When reading this great short story of him, I was struck by the imagery of the story, the howling wind, the pregnant pauses, tense moments, barren fields and weathered looks. Ross's stories depict the often tragic struggles of people during the drought and the Depression of the 1930s. He usually concentrates on depicting these struggles through the life of a certain family. The members of these families lead lives of quiet desperation, they are usually lonely and they cannot find understanding within their families.In The Lamp at Noon the author concentrates on the disintegrating marriage of Paul and Ellen. Paul is hopelessly trying to make a living off his own farm and he is afraid of being unable to do so. His wife is being driven mad by the lonesomeness of her life on the farm. She has no friends to talk to, not even her husband. Paul cannot understand that it is his wife that he should find an ally in, whom he should trust and he is not able to realise that the land is his "enemy". He is unable to look for understanding or support on her wife's side and so their disability to understand each other, their isolation leads to a tragic end.The title of the short story is very interesting - but also very suggestive: there is usually something going wrong, something not ordinary when we have to light the lamp at noon. And in fact, there is something wrong: it is not only the draught and the dust, but also the relationship between the main characters, between Paul and Ellen, that is not quite adequate.Even the first lines of The Lamp at Noon make us realise that something bad is going to happen. The author lets his natural settings mirror the moods of his characters. Through the outer situation we can guess what the prevailing characteristic features of the main figures are. We can get a glimpse into their inner lives. The constant "demented wind" with its wails, the dust thickening into fog, the emptiness of the landscape, all these facts reflect the helplessness of these people, their powerlessness, their incapability to touch another with assurance and gentleness. The prevailing mood is sombre, every movement, every look reveals the inner tension of the characters. Ellen is a lonely, unhappy woman who wishes to spend more time with her husband, who is but too hard, too stubborn to understand how isolated she feels - being alone all day long. Paul is not the one that could understand the fear and weakness of a woman.The terrible "play" of wind is all the while present in the...

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