silentspring rachel carson Essay

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Shifted Paradigm: Whose Fault is it?
Rachel Carson was a noted biologist who delves in the roots of parathion abuse in an attempt to change the attitudes of Americans. In her book, Silent Spring, she argues how farmers have fecklessly sprayed perilous chemicals, such as parathion, on open fields. Through the use of militaristic diction and rhetorical questions, Carson displays the cataclysmic consequences of human inattention to pesticide use. She brings her argument to a more personal level by questioning the morality of the people who permit insecticide use that kills thousands of creatures. Carson uses militaristic diction to compare the devastation of warfare to the use of parathion by blaming human’s inattention to parathion use. She claims that the “authoritarian” farmers are employing parathion and they are carrying out their “mission of death.” Human’s ignorance towards insecticide usage gives the farmers the omnipotent power and the people’s apathy towards the practices allows the farmers to justify their use of parathion. “Missions” has a violent connotation and can be defined as militaristic duties to fulfill, usually referred to by effectively executing a person or a group. The “mission” to destroy the animals is contentious and their actions reflect the farmers as a militia. By drawing a parallel between the farmers and a militia, she deliberately connects the two unrelated groups to expose the farmers’ combative approach to parathion. Next, she describes an incident in which a group of farmers “[engaged] in a spray plane” to treat an area using the pesticide. She implants the image of a naval force, entering aerial attack, to engender a violent and bloodthirsty sensation. Carson manipulates the indirect but traumatic effects of aerial warfare to portray the animals as the poor victims of war. She further elicits an emotional response from the readers by connecting the massive amounts of animal deaths to a “casualty list”, often referred to when soldiers die in combat. She utilizes the image of a soldier and the intense poignant imagery of soldiers dying in war to contrast the deaths of the animals. Carson questions the morale of the apathetic public by exploiting rhetorical questions. She establishes the foundation of her argument by asking, “Who kept vigilant watch to tell the innocent stroller that the fields he was about to enter was deadly?” Carson implies that someone should have been keeping surveillance of parathion but no one did. She brings attention to the blame of parathion by finding fault in other groups other than farmers. Although the farmers physically