On lamps

a debate from the halls of AP English

Pro-Lamp: Avery Smith

Tolkien, author of Lord of the Rings, once claimed that no good fantasy story could have lamps. This declaration led C. S. Lewis to create the Chronicles of Narnia that we know and love today. They illuminate our streets, our homes, and our hearts. A world without lamps would be a world with no Narnia, no way to see when driving, and no hope in our lives. Think of a home-a warm, loving home. Take a glance around each room. How many lamps do you see? One by the bed, where we are most vulnerable; one by the couch, in the space for living. Lamps make a house a home with their light so we can see, and their beauty for us to see. Audrey Bullow, Lincoln-Way scholar and lamp appreciator, not to suggest a correlation between intelligence and appreciation of lamps, declares, “I love lamps!” She prefers the broad, soft light lamps give off as they “add character and give a cozy feel” to a room, since she feels that ceiling lights are too harsh. She admires the diversity of lamps, small, stained-glass lamps to grand, metal lamp posts. As Christmas is approaching, the American people often fantasize about a happy evening, warming by the fire of a home shared with family, lit only by a fire and a lamp. It is debatable which is more warming to the American spirit. Christmas is synonymous with decorating with little, colored lamps that spread the Christmas cheer. It is synonymous with taking a drive through the New Lenox commons and streets in the snow, both illuminated by our decorated lamp posts.


Anti-Lamp: Ella Kalchbrenner

It was the brightest of times, it was the dimmest of times—it was a time in human history when we didn’t have lamps. Human society has gotten by for thousands of years, and only recently has been assisted by electric light technology.  If a person can dedicate themselves to a paleo diet and swear off social media to try to reach a simpler time, can they not also swear off lamps? Can they not also obey the sun and enjoy a full night of sleep, rather than writing essays by lamplight? Now, one can argue that we can, and should, take advantage of the great achievement of electric lighting, (ignoring that Thomas Edison wasn’t the nicest guy), but there are better ways to defy the sky than lamps. Any other way. Lamps tend to come in various shades of disgustingly ugly, from the coveted leg lamp, to the weird, snake-like desk lamp. Each of these lamps also comes with a limited functionality. Social science teacher Mr. Finnegan shares a distaste for their often unstable design, stating that “I’ve knocked over and broken many a lamp in my life.” Mr. Hopper concurs: “They’re mostly decorations. They don’t work.” There are definitely some distinct problems with modern society, and all of them could maybe be solved by the use of overhead lighting, or natural lighting, or anything else but ugly, barely-functional lamps.