Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Rachel Carson's Warning Was No Fairy Tale

By Jesus Santos

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson is a great book that deals with what has happened to the United States to silence the spring season and how it was basically brought upon by human activities. The first chapter dealt with the author making the world seem like a perfect place; abundance of flowers and trees, then fruits and harvests from those trees.

The animals roamed around having a lot to eat and the world was a happier place, then everything became dangerous. The crops went bad, the people who went near the crops got sick or died and suddenly the United States took a turn for the worst. In my opinion the author tried to convey a satire through this story by saying that the world was a better place before chemical poisons.

This book also deals with the scientific history and background of chemical poisons and what started out as a fantasy story becomes very real, and by using numbers and scientific formulas the audience no longer see this book as a fairy tale, but as how the world may be if we continue to not take care of it.

The chapter “The Human Price” should be the chapter that readers look close at because it describes these poisons as being the new environmental hazards when decades before the major concerns were diseases or infections; now we have to worry about the chemicals in the air and throughout the environment. Also, the rise in cancer in the 20th century, which Carson described as having to do with the consumption of what is around us. Therefore, if people pay close attention to their environment they would better understand the reason for their sickness.

While this book was written in the early 1960’s, I think Carson would be happy to know that a lot of what she wrote about is actually happening. “Happy,” signifying that she was correct. For example, with the amount of deforestation that we face today could be described as the seasons going bad as she described in her book. Not long after the book was written, there was the issue of Agent Orange, a chemical poison sprayed on forests and other plants that caused people to get sick, much like how Carson’s book states.

And last, but not least, the eagles and other birds she described in chapter 8 as being in danger of becoming extinct is something that this generation is used to hearing since many birds and even polar bears seem to face a future of possibly being extinct soon. In the Twentieth Century it must have been hard to try making this point to a society that has not been informed much about environmental hazards. Therefore, what this book accomplishes is a foreshadowing of what can happen if we do not live our lives cautiously and try to take care of it for the next generation.

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