Silent Spring (Rachel Carson) - '' a Fable for Tomorrow''

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  • Topic: Environmentalism, United States, DDT
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Critique essay
Silent Spring – “A Fable for tomorrow”
Alexandre Clavier (31053242)

Rachel Carson was the author who leaves her mark on the birth of the ecological movement. Indeed, her book represents the first targeted campaign against the ravages of pesticides and herbicides in the United States of America (Carson, 1962). In her work, Carson exposes the impacts of pesticides on wildlife and describes its bad effects on natural environments, fauna and flora but also on the human DNA (Online ethnic centre, 2010). Silent spring aroused a violent debate at that time. It also symbolizes the first victory of change agents, because ten years later the United States of America will forbid the DDT (Hodgson, 2010). Gradually, the conservation movement developed in importance and lead to a ban of certain pesticides in the United States of America (Online ethnic centre, 2010). As a result, we can say that Carson’s text triggered the birth of the environmental movement at the beginning of the sixties, thus it is very important in the history of sustainable development. Indeed, according to some politicians such as Al Gore, Silent Spring represents a ‘birth certificate’ for sustainability (Al Gore, 1994). This popularity is certainly due to Carson’s vivid explanations which are accessible to everyone. Indeed, in the first chapter “Fable for Tomorrow”, we can see that Rachel Carson is an exceptional populariser and a “hysterical alarmist” (Waddell, 2000, p42). In this essay, I will argue that Silent Spring owes its fame and popularity thanks to the Rachel Carson’s style which generated the ideas that are in Silent Spring. The first part will focus on the different stylistic devices which Rachel Carson uses to make Silent Spring as attractive and convincing, whereas the second part will underline some exaggerations and passages in the book which can call into question the quality and the Carson’s judgement.

Firstly, we can argue the Rachel Carson’s work has known so...
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