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Word Count: 1,411
Isolation is defined in the Websters Encyclopedic Dictionary as occurring when something is placed apart or alone Naturally humans are faced with feelings of isolation at certain times throughout their lives However there are particular types of isolation that capture the imagination of writers and artists Canadian authors are drawn towards the theme of isolation in their literature Characters portrayed in Canadian literature are either spiritually emotionally physically or geographically isolated Isolation can either have a positive or negative affect on humans Humans are often driven mad by isolation where their only means of escaping is by death Others who are isolated develop psychotic tendances which cause them to destroy themselves as well as others Throughout Canadian literature isolation has an extremely negative effect upon the development of the individuals character In the short story The Lamp at Noon Sinclair Ross portrays the young woman Ellen as a character who is driven mad by her geographical isolation Throughout this story Ellen struggles to break free from the poor barren and hopeless prairie landscape she and her family inhabit Ellen has little contact with other people Living in a two bedroom home and once a month to town with not a penny to spend was not the type of environment Ellen wanted to live in Ross 36 Feelings of loneliness and isolation surround Ellen trapping her in an inevitable Undoubtable Ellens geographical and physical isolation were not the only components of Ellens insanity Ellen felt emotionally isolated from her husband Paul Paul was too preoccupied with his farm to even acknowledge Ellens feelings of isolation Ellen addresses Paul many times trying to convince him to leave the deserted prairie Paul does not listen to Ellen He feels that all he needs to provide Ellen with is clothes and nourishment 36 It is clearly shown at the end of this story when Ellen is driven into a state of insanity that Paul also
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