“Chronicles of Ice” by Gretel Ehrlich
“Why did we trade in our ceremonial lives for the workplace? Is this a natural progression or a hiccup in human civilization that we’ll soon renounce” (Ehrlich 91)? Gretel Ehrlich asks these deep questions in her short informative essay “Chronicles of Ice” (2004). Ehrlich tells of her travels to The World Heritage glacier Perito Moreno, Argentina. In this short narrative, the author uses pathos and strong human related metaphors, to relay the direct correlation between glaciers and the well being of Earth.
Ehrlich starts her tale, by giving information that supports her point but also gives insight to her personal experience. She introduces the physics in paragraph one, “Perito Moreno is 257 square kilometers across. It advances two meters a day” (88). Then follows up the next sentence with her view of the “glaciers snout.” The transition from paragraph three to four clearly exemplifies this point as well. Paragraph three ends with a description of a glacial crack, and then reveals her knowledge of glaciers in paragraph four.
The author metaphorically relates glaciers and humans in the first line of paragraph five when she infers, “a glacier balances its gains and losses like a banker” (89). Ehrlich uses this metaphor to appeal to the audience, which in turn illustrates an example in their mind. This instance continues throughout the paragraph with words such as profit and losses included in the basic science of the growth or reduction of glaciers. Ehrlich again compares these ice masses to human substance at the beginning of paragraph eight by stating, “a glacier is an archivist and historian” (89). Making the glacier seem that much more important to humanity. Ehrlich uses this quote to solidify the use of her information in the rest of paragraph eight. She uses her environmental intuition to answer the reader’s question, of why glaciers are important to us. Ehrlich’s association with the historian and the history...
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