Symbolism In The Lamp At Noon Sinclair Ross

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Fight or Flight
Fight or flight; the instantaneous human reaction to any adverse predicament. It is one’s choice to battle or flee that speaks to one’s most deep-rooted fears and desires.
In The Lamp at Noon Sinclair Ross, through the relationship of Paul and Ellen, depicts the outcome of these opposing fundamental values when promoted by a destructive environment. Initially, Paul is blindly optimistic to his situation; however, Ellen’s opposing desires to flee while they still can, pressures Ellen to take action, resulting is Paul’s sudden epiphany into the reality of his circumstance. “There are two winds: the wind in flight and the wind that pursues.” Paul as the dominant home provider is painted clearly as the wind that pursues. It is his personal choice to stay at the farm and defend his legacy that
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The storm has grown so strong and so persistent that it has swept away all Paul had to represent his hard work. He no longer has anything to support his family or his livestock and this is all a result of his instinctual decision to stay and fight for his land. The emotional effect of the storm’s wrath is revealed through both Paul and Ellen. For Paul “struggle has given sternness, an impassive courage”. Paul had lost all tangible symbols of being a successful husband (such as a prosperous farm and a happy wife and children). As a result, all he has left to prove his worth is his courage and strength. He feels that it is his role to be a rock of the family, hence his unwavering commitment to his land. Above all, this pride and obligation to his land blind him from the reality of his environment. He has too much faith in the land and has invested too much to ever have an unbiased judgment of his conditions. Paul’s thought process is impaired by a looming surreal numbness to his situation. With each day that the storm continues “ the dust” that blinds him from reality “ is thickening to an impenetrable
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