Silent Spring: Unsilenced Essay

Words: 1208
Pages: 5

Jossie Brown
Roxeanne Lawler
English 102-HV
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
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Carson strengthens her argument by setting forth the idea that future historians may well be amazed by our distorted sense of proportion. She questions “How could intelligent beings seek to control a few unwanted species by a method that contaminated the entire environment and brought the threat of disease and death even to their own kind?” (757). This question is indeed thought provoking. Carson gives examples to back up her claims, lending merit to her case. We know from her list of citations found in the back of her book that her examples are valid. She points out that in the mid 1940’s over two-hundred basic chemicals were created. These chemicals were “…totally outside the limits of biological experience “, used in what she calls “man’s war against nature” (757), these chemicals were created to kill insects, weeds, rodents, and other so called pests. Carson goes on to illustrate that these chemicals had the power to kill the “good”, and the “bad”, again making reference to the death of the birds, while complementing that example by adding the fish in the streams. She goes one step further and writes of the deadly film that remains on the leaves, and the lingering poison in the soil. After presenting the information Carson poses a question, a question that the reader can only answer in one way. By doing this, Carson pulls the reader into forming answers for themselves that in essence