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Word Count: 881
Ross infuses irony into the last page of The Lamp At Noon to convey the fatality of the single-minded Set in the era of the Great Depression Rosss short story emphasizes one couples conflicting attitudes regarding the best interests of their child Paul a proud and obstinate farmer raised on family soil is convinced that his son should grow up feeling the same pride which comes from owning the land His obsession with ownership and independence so completely dominates his thoughts that he cannot perceive the hopelessness of remaining in the perpetual dust storm that ravages his farm Ignorant to the damage that the dust inflicts upon his familys physical and emotional health Paul metaphorically chains his wife and son to an existence without a future Ellen on the other hand is determined to provide her son with the vain luxuries that she enjoyed in her childhood Unable to comprehend the satisfaction of self-sufficiency she insists that Paul get a job in town working under someone elses command Ellen and Pauls inability to acknowledge the merits of the others dreams or accept their own perceptional flaws causes their relationship to disintegrate Desperate to get away from the hopelessness of a stagnant farm Ellen takes their baby and flees into the heart of the storm But nearly two hours later it was himself who came upon her Crouched down against a drift of sand as if for shelter her hair in matted strands around her neck and face the child clasped tightly in her hands Ellens attempt to find shelter in a drift of sand clearly demonstrates that she too is blind to the futility of her struggles She is so obsessed with the dream of a town life for her child that she overlooks the foolishness in seeking security from sand during a sand storm Her single-minded resolve prevents her from perceiving the irony in the situation she fled from fields of hopeless dust directly
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