29 January 2013
Silent Spring: Unsilenced
In the book Silent Spring, marine biologist Rachel Carson describes the devastating effects of pesticides on the environment. The excerpt titled The Obligation to Endure is well written and makes compelling points leading the reader to continue reading and swaying their opinion in favor of the purpose filled and deliberate argument. Carson has one weakness in this excerpt where she switches her writing to a very scientific mode, although it is minor compared to the strengths of her writing. Her words flow with fluidity, draw the reader in, and drive her points home. She invokes emotion with her powerful prose and effectively launches the reasoning process of the reader.
Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring brings to light the effects pesticides have on the human race, and within our environment, including the impact on animals and nature as a whole. Even her title, Silent Spring, indicates the carnage pesticide has brought, making reference to the lack of birdsong attributed to DDT spraying that led to widespread bird deaths. She writes about the detrimental effects of pesticides; how they dangerously seep into our environment through the soil and the water, and she explains how pesticides are ineffective for their intended purpose, yet the result of their continual use, albeit unintended, is death and destruction for all living things. Carson is painstakingly thorough, providing the reader with a start to finish journey of life on earth, beginning hundreds of millions of years ago, and ending with the potential destruction of mankind in its entirety. Particularly concerning is that she alludes to the fact that the destruction of mankind is self-inflicted, an inevitable catastrophe to befall humanity due to the very nature of man. Carson addresses that there is indeed an insect problem, as well as a need to control the problem. She argues that “The methods employed...