Daniil I. Smirnov
AP Lang & Comp
18 Sept. 2012
Silent Spring Chunk Essay
Dangerous insecticidal practices run rampant across the United States, and no one is doing a single thing to stop them. Rachel Carson published an infamously controversial book hailed as Silent Spring in1962 in which she tries to convince her audience that it is their civic duty as human beings to prevent unreasonable pesticide methods from ever taking place. Carson denounces the simple act of farming by backing up her argument with literary prose and scientific facts.
Carson's implementation of sarcasm lets the audience know that farmers are set on a 'the ends justify the means' philosophy. “The results probably gratified the farmers, for the casualty included some 65,000 red-winged blackbirds and starlings.” (23-25) Sarcastically portraying farmers as evil monsters, Carson forces lawmakers to emotionally come to terms with the fact that, one way or the other, farmers are promoting a mass murder of fauna. As a result, the legislative body of America would feel the need to pass a law or at the very least a resolution to put a stop to these horrific proceedings. But the focus is not entirely on farmers as an isolated group.
Rhetorical questions become a way for Carson to get her real audience: parents and workers of middle-class America; to reflect pensively upon the actions of those who authorized the use of parathion. “... who guarded the poisoned area to keep out any who might wander in, in misguided search for unspoiled nature?” (39-41) Rural peoples everywhere are suddenly made aware of the fact that their children may be playing in some hazardous corn field sprayed with Smirnov 2
chemicals that decimate any living creature around. These middle-class workers would then be more prone to more radical action such as holding protests against the government that allowed this to transgress.
Analogies are yet another vehicle Rachel Carson employs to clue...
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