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Word Count: 953
The Lamp at Noon is a short story that focuses on the reality of the desiccated secluded and expansive prairies Set on the haunting Canadian prairies weather emulates the emotions of Ellen a housewife desperate for freedom of the dustbowl lifestyle The authority of wind and dust seem to taunt Ellen and her husband Paul into desperation Ross applies symbolism across the pages of The Lamp at Noon to inform the reader of the lonely emotions that are wrought by the desolate and barren prairies In Rosss short story the use of three important symbols is crucial The first is the lamp which on the whole embodies the spirit and optimism that Ellen feels towards her marriage to Paul Ellen lit the lamp 7 just prior to her much anticipated lunch with Paul where she would argue her sentiments about eradicating their lives of thistles and tumbleweeds 10 Before lunch Ellen seemed confident that this time Paul may finally understand her growing concerns about the prairies - she lights the lamp just as she lights her hopeful feelings As Ellen waits for Paul by the window the lamp reaches out through the open door 7 towards Paul subsequently it is Ellen who is reaching out to Paul In the course of the couples fiery discussion the lamp threw strong lights and shadows on their faces 9 denoting Ellens dimming hopes that their conversation will be as optimistic as she Paul was compelled by his anxiety14 to return to the house after exiting their discussion abruptly to resolve his matters with Ellen But his return was not greeted with Ellen it was greeted with Ellens vanished hope that Paul would ever understand her - the lamp was blown out 16 Ellens hopes and confidences in her marriage and life with Paul were muted as she blew out the lamp - the light of their relationship A second important symbol is the merciless dust
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