Silent Spring

Topics: DDT, Pesticide, Rachel Carson Pages: 5 (1626 words) Published: August 27, 2013
Silent Spring

1. A. I was captivated with the way Carson began the book with the imaginary town that had suffered plagues due to pesticides. She then went on to say that these were based off real events that happened all over the country. Also it was fascinating how much Rachel Carson new about carcinogens and the ill effects of pesticides such as cancer and birth defects. This was at a time when this was not a wide spread fact. B. The protagonists in this novel are nature and the public. They are both innocent and are slowly but surely being hurt by the antagonists which would be the government and the chemical industry which produced DDT and other pesticides. C. This novel revealed the effects of pesticides on not only nature but on us humans. In nature pesticides were being killed because of the blanket of chemicals that were being released because the people releasing them wanted to get paid more. It was then revealed that super insects were being created because of natural selection, so the strong bugs would survive and go on to produce more resilient bugs. Humans are suffering from chemical pesticides and this is why many cancers, birth defects, and deaths come about. D. The novel opens with Rachel Carson speaking of an imaginary town that has gone through many catastrophes because of pesticides and says that these are based on real happenings in various towns. She says that pesticides are like atomic radiation because they are silent and slowly kill you. Pesticides have gotten worse because they have become more potent, they decompose slower, and they have a tendency to concentrate in fatty tissues. Carson goes on to reveal that pesticides exist in all parts of the biological system- the water, the air, and our plants. Taxpayers are being robbed because our ecosystems are being destroyed with insecticides and the government overlooks this. She talks of how the Japanese beetle was hunted through pesticides but that no one knew for sure if they were real threats. She says that robins and eagles have been killed due to DDT which is where the book’s title comes from. Every child and man is affected by pesticides so the FDA and the Department of Agriculture is putting the people in danger. She goes on to note the increase in pesticides in World War II and how they take effect in our bodies. Natural selection makes pesticides less and less affective anyways and there are other ways to reduce insect populations such as introducing sterilized males and the use of chemicals that exist in the insect themselves. 2.A. As a reader in 2012 I was able to see how much Rachel Carson made a difference. This is now well known stuff. Almost everyone knows what a carcinogen is, so I had to put myself in 1962- a time when people did not think as much of their health and the affects of DDT. This would have been revolutionary and so enlightening because it offered an explanation of so many cancers and birth defects.

B. It concerns me that so many pesticides are still used in not only crops that end up as produce or that goes into our food and this is why we get our food from Mexico. So even if we are not inhaling these chemicals we are consuming them.

C. One of the most important ideas was that DDT was a direct carcinogen and the robin and eagle suffered due to this, both became endangered. They received it down the food chain from worms and fish. This proved that our universe is undeniably connected.

D. This book made me think of when my parents and I have sprayed bug spray and weed killer. This was so close to us and though it may not be as toxic as the insecticides spoken of here but they cannot be good for us and can lead to cancer because we are definitely breathing them in. 3. A. Rachel Carson was born in 1907 in Pennsylvania. Her family was poor but her mother was an intelligent woman and was a naturalist and this lead to Rachel writing at a very young age. In 1925 Carson received a scholarship from Pennsylvania...
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