1. Describe the atmosphere or mood of this story using references from the story.

Desperate, tense, and sad these are some of the moods/ atmosphere in the story. Ellen tries to get away from all the bad things happening around her, like the dust storms,"...I'm so caged - if I could only break away and run", but her husband Paul will not given into her wishes. She pleads and begs Paul to let them leave their home in the praries and move into town with her family, but Paul once again refuses. "I told you this morning, Ellen; we keep on right where we are. At least I do. It's yourself you're thinking about, not the baby".

2. Is the ending optimistic or pessimistic? Explain your answer.

The ending is pessimistic because the story did not have a hopeful outcome. In the end of the short story the baby dies from the elements of the dust storms. The baby was not revied, and Ellen seems to have lost her mind towards the end when she was out in the field. Therefore the ending of this short story is pessimistic.

3. Why does Ellen run away? In your opinion, could the tragedy have been avoided? Why or why not?

Ellen runs away to escape the cruel nature of her home, her husband and her surrundings. She runs away to try to make a better life for her child and well as herself. In the ending of story where shes in the house, she's cooped up like that all day, she must have gone stir-crazy and lost her mind. This probally would have contributed to her decison to leave instead of waiting out the storm. The tragedy could have been avoided if she had waited and did what her husband had told her to do. On the other hand, the baby could have died a few days later from the same thing; this type of death most likely could not have been avoided, given the setting.

4. Which of the two characters do you feel more sympathy for? Defend your choice.

I feel more sympathy for Ellen in this case. She's been traped inside this tiny house for who knows how long, slowly breaking down till she snaps, taking care of a baby. Her husband isn't very supportive of her wants and needs, in truth, all he is thinking about is himself. She wants to move into town with her parents so she can support her husband, feed her family and have some luxuary items. Ellen is only trying to make up for her husbands short comings, even if it meant moving in with her parents and sweeping out his store.

5. What is the author saying about the effect the Depression had on human relationships.

The depression and sand storms put a major strain on human relationships, even trying to have a normal conversation is difficult. During the depression farming families had very little food, water, crops, money and every day esstials nessary for survial. Without these basic human needs the stress on relationships would be unbearable if one did not escape from the area.




Short Stories - Literary Devises Title:

Point of View:
3rd person

Protagonist: Ellen
What type of character is the Protagonist(s)?
She is dynamic, and round

Antagonist: Paul
Describe the setting
The setting is on a farm in the times of the dust bowls. The surroundings are desert like, dusty and there is a sand storm when the story takes place. This story takes place around 12:00 pm.

Type of Conflict: Man vs. environment, or man vs. man
Describe the main conflict:
The main conflict in the story is between Ellen and Paul. Ellen wants to leave the farm in hope of a better life back in town with her parents, but Paul refuses to leave his farm because of his own pride.

Describe the Climax of the Story:
The climax of the story was when Ellen decides to leave the farm without Paul, taking the baby with her.

How does the Protagonist change over the course of the story?
Ellen changes at the end of the story when she runs away. She reliezes that the farm is worth staying at and that Paul was right about the storm ending soon.

Describe the relationship between the title and the theme.






How does the main conflict help to illustrate the theme?






How does the climax help to illustrate the theme?


Give examples of each of the following literary terms in the story (use quotes):

Simile:


Metaphor:


Personification:


Symbol:


Foreshadowing (give both elements):



Irony:




Imagery:




Describe the relationships between the class theme and the story.






Lamp At Noon Character Sketch Assignment Name:

Choose
one of the two characters listed below from “The Lamp at Noon” and complete the prewriting activity before writing the character sketch.

Paul/Ellen (Circle one)
Choose three words that describe the inner workings of Paul or Ellen.

1. negative

2. protective (baby)

3. insane

Find three pieces of evidence to support your describing word choices. Include at least one quote.

1. " 'But it's not just dry years, Paul!... Will you never see? It's the land itself - the soil. You've plowed and harrowed it until there's not a root or fibre left to hold it down. That's why the soil drifts-that's why in a year or two there'll be nothing left but the bare clay. If in the first place you farmers had taken care of your land - if you hadn't been so greedy for wheat every year-' ... seeming to know how her words had hurt him".


2. " [The baby] was lying in a homemade crib over which [Ellen] had arranged a tent of muslin... She would have liked to rock him, to feel the comfort of his little body in her arms, but a fear had obsessed her that in the dust-filled air he might contract pneumonia".


3. "The child was quite cold. It had been her arms, perhaps, too frantic to protect him, or the smother of dust upon his throat and lungs...'I'll take him again. Such clumsy hands-you don't even know how to hold a baby yet...'a red sky-it means tomorrow will be fine' ".

Using your choices above write a well constructed paragraph that includes all three describing words and corresponding evidence. REMEMBER THE FOLLOWING:


  1. It is formally written, avoiding slang and colloquialisms.
  2. It is written in the third person, avoiding first and second person pronouns (“I”; “you”).
  3. There is a strong topic sentence, which introduces both the character and the story… …in addition to giving the reader an idea of where the piece is going and providing a hook so the reader is compelled to read on.
4. It should also have a strong conclusion. This leaves the reader with a final thought that encapsulates the meaning of the whole paragraph.
  1. Develop and provide evidence of your ideas between the topic sentence and the conclusion.
  2. A character sketch does not tell what a character does, but who he or she is.
  3. Finally, before you are finished, read your piece out loud__ to yourself or have somebody else edit it for clarity, style and grammar.


The character of Ellen shows extreme negativity towards her husband, Paul throughout the story. Ellen also shows strong emotional bonds to her child and becomes too over protective of him. Nearing the end of the short story, Ellen gradually becomes insane, with more time she has spent trapped in the storm.
Ellen becomes extremely negative towards Paul and his dreams for the farm. She believes the farm is now become a waste of time, and that her family is not getting what they need out of it. " 'But it's not just dry years, Paul!... Will you never see? It's the land itself - the soil. You've plowed and harrowed it until there's not a root or fibre left to hold it down. That's why the soil drifts-that's why in a year or two there'll be nothing left but the bare clay. If in the first place you farmers had taken care of your land - if you hadn't been so greedy for wheat every year-' ... seeming to know how her words had hurt him". Instead of listening to Paul's concerns and attempts to make a better life for themselves, she continues to put his ideas down and insists that the family move in with her own.
Ellen's fears start to interfear with her life and her child's. She becomes very overprotective of her child, making sure that nothing disturbs him. " [The baby] was lying in a homemade crib over which [Ellen] had arranged a tent of muslin... She would have liked to rock him, to feel the comfort of his little body in her arms, but a fear had obsessed her that in the dust-filled air he might contract pneumonia".
At the end of the story, because of the situtation both characters have to face, Ellen contracts some insanity. She believes that her infant son is still alive even though, cleary the baby has passed. "The child was quite cold. It had been her arms, perhaps, too frantic to protect him, or the smother of dust upon his throat and lungs...'I'll take him again. Such clumsy hands-you don't even know how to hold a baby yet...'a red sky-it means tomorrow will be fine' ".
Unraveling "Lamp At Noon, Ellen could have been suffering from postpardom depression or effects from the attomsphere she was in. Though Ellen was thinking of her familys best intrests, she could have been hiding a "condition", and by leaving the farm it could be a good thing for her.Was Ellen insane? Did she know what conquences would form because of her actions? Did Ellen acdiently kill her child to make a better future for both of them, or did she purporsly kill him to prove a point to her husband?