An Analysis of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring

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Silent Spring
Rachel Carson's Silent Spring (1962) became the inspiration for the environmental movement. Its elegant prose expressed passionate outrage at the ravaging of beautiful, unspoiled nature by man. Its frightening message was that we are all being injured by deadly poisons (DDT and other pesticides) put out by a callous chemical industry. This message was snapped up by intellectuals, and the book sold over a million copies. Many organizations have sprung up to spread Carson's message. Rachel Carson set the style for environmentalism. She used exaggeration and omitted certain contradictory evidence in order to fully get her point across. The book starts with a romanticized vision of a world in harmony, followed by a horror story of an "evil spell that settled on the community: mysterious maladies swept the flocks of chickens; the cattle and sheep sickened and died....Children...would be stricken and die within a few hours....The few birds seen anywhere were moribund...and could not fly....a white granular powder...had fallen like snow upon the roofs and the lawns, the fields and the streams." There is a dual theme throughout Silent Spring. The first and most obvious is that of the potential exological and human damage that may be caused by the unrestrained use of pesticides such as DDT. The second, in Carson's words, tells of a "web of life" in which all things are interrelated and thus interdependent. Both these themes are explored as Carson talks of the natural environments of sea, soil, and vegetation. She gives example after example and lyrical illustrations of how thoughtless intervention by man can cause endless damageing reverberations throughout the natural world.

Many people can relate to this book, the people who love nature and like to see the beautiful scenery. I think Carson should be viewed as a role model because of what she had to go through while writing this book and after it was published. Rachel Carson was suffering from breast...
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