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"The Lamp At Noon" Short Story About Isolation.

1027 words - 4 pages

Sinclair Ross responds to the issue of isolation, in his short story, "The Lamp at Noon." The author focuses on the theme of how not to deal with isolation. This notion is reinforced by the setting (mood/physical), characters, and symbolism that he describes so vividly.The first method the author uses to convey the idea of isolation is through setting. The setting was beautifully described creating imagery that assists the focus of the theme. Sinclair expresses personification in climate changes, for example, "..Demented wind fled keening past the house: a wail through the eaves that died every minute or two." (Ross, p. 62). From this given statement in the story, you can already imagine the mood of the setting, a dark, dreary, somewhat harsh, and depressing scene. The different changes in weather reflect how the characters are feeling. Paul and Ellen both feel upset, depressed, and dark, especially about their relationship. As the story progresses, the changes in weather correspond to the characters moods a little more directly. The setting in this short story is a major element of this piece, without it, the plot would be kind of dull and "blah," because it gives you an idea of the time and place in the story. Time and place are key elements of a story's plot, which helps focus on the given theme of isolation, and how not to deal with it in this case.The second method that the author uses was characterization - another major factor of foundation for a good read. Ross used excellent descriptions for the two main characters. This is because they could be related to fairly easily, and realistically. Ellen's strong and hopeful feelings which dance around the idea of a better, healthier and even a little more "rewarding" life are nicely depicted. The reality of her hopes, however, is that the things she wants and needs most are unattainable, which links her feelings to the theme of isolation. So, if she can not produce these things, she just sits and waits for a better opportunity, and her husband to come home safe and sound to comfort her with love and affection as shown in this following quote, "... Please stay ... I'm so caged - if I could only break away and run. See - I stand like this all day. I can't relax. My throat's so tight it aches." (Ross, p. 68). From this little paragraph, you can already dissect the thoughts and feelings portrayed by the character's strong words that she used to be well off, and accustomed to the finer things in life, but also that she needs love and affection from her husband to "replace" that "need." Now Paul on the other hand, a rugged, strong, 30 year old farmer is a touch stronger and more persistent for success compared to Ellen. He struggles to keep his land and livestock alive and booming. He was quite determined in staying and trying, and waiting for the land to sprout with better crops, as well...

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