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. Aged.

2. Anxious.

3. Argumentative.

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

1. ''The eyes were hollowed, the lips dry and colorless. It was the face of a woman who had aged without maturing, that had loved the little vanities of life, and had lost them wistfully.''

2. ''Tense, she fixed her eyes upon the clock listening.''

''There was a dark resentment in her voice that boded another quarrel.''

For some, the farmer's life can be a pleasurable experience, but not for these two. Paul's wife, Ellen, has had enough of the hard times. First off, life on the land has aged her considerably. Her eyes no longer sparkle; they're ''hollowed'', and her once ruby red lips are ''pinched, dry and colorless.'' Once the most well dressed teacher in town, she's now forced to wear slippers ragged down to the sole. Her head aches, and she feels much older than she really is.
It's not just the transformation of her image that bothers Ellen. She's going stir crazy out in the dust covered prairies, and getting more worrisome by the day. She spends all of her time tending to a crying baby, obsessively cooking and cleaning, and waiting for Paul to come home. The storms scream around her house, and the clock ticks all day. The repetitiveness, and tension of her day drive her crazy with anxiety. The little food that is afforded gets coated in dust - not even good food is provided. She worries about her baby constantly as well as Paul - will their throats fill up with dust completely one day?
Ellen has become argumentative in the wake of the Great Depression. Once happy, and content with Paul, she now feels the need to argue with him about every last little thing - their child, their careers, and whether to leave or not. She is excessively stubborn, and is so preoccupied with winning every argument that she hardly treats Paul with affection, or as an equal anymore.