Analyzing Rachel Carson’s “the Obligation to Endure” Essay
1097 WordsNov 19th, 20125 Pages
Analyzing Rachel Carson’s “The Obligation to Endure”
In her essay “The Obligation to Endure”, Rachel Carson alerts the public to the dangers of modern industrial pollution. She writes about the harmful consequences of lethal materials being released into the environment. She uses horrifying evidence, a passionate tone, audience, and the overall structure of her essay to express to her readers that the pollution created by man wounds the earth. There are many different ways that pollution can harm the environment, from the nuclear explosions discharging toxic chemicals into the air, to the venomous pesticides sprayed on plants that kills vegetation and sickens cattle. The adjustments to these chemicals would take generations. Rachel…show more content…
This is an efficient strategy. It makes her audience want to get involved and preserve the natural resources the environment has to offer. In her essay she describes the devastating effects chemicals have on the environment with such conviction; it might make the reader feel obligated to make changes in his or her own life to help the natural world. Rachel Carson uses an assertive tone to get her point across. She has a one-sided argument and is very aggressive to those who oppose her point of view. She is very effective at stating her opinion to her audience. In her essay Rachel Carson targets anyone who will listen as her audience. She wants to inform human beings of the effects chemicals have on the environment. Rachel Carson’s audience had little knowledge of the effects radiation and pesticides might have on nature or to themselves. She successfully enlightened her audience to the harm man was causing to the environment not only presently, she also wrote of future ramifications. She predicts “Future historians may well be amazed by our distorted sense of proportion. How could intelligent beings seek to control a few unwanted species by methods that contaminated the entire environment…?” (Carson 615). This statement might make her audience scrutinize their actions through the eyes of future generations.
Rachel Carson used cause and effect, problem and solution, compare and contrast, and
Fifty years ago, in 1962, Rachel Carson published her landmark and highly influential book, Silent Spring. According to Wikipedia,
Rachel Louise Carson (May 27, 1907 – April 14, 1964) was an American marine biologist and conservationist whose writings are credited with advancing the global environmental movement. Carson began her career as a biologist in the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries, and became a full-time nature writer in the 1950s. Her widely praised 1951 bestseller The Sea Around Us won her financial security and recognition as a gifted writer. Her next book, The Edge of the Sea, and the republished version of her first book, Under the Sea Wind, were also bestsellers. Together, her sea trilogy explores the whole of ocean life, from the shores to the surface to the deep sea. In the late 1950s, Carson turned her attention to conservation and the environmental problems caused by synthetic pesticides. The result was Silent Spring (1962), which brought environmental concerns to an unprecedented portion of the American public. Silent Spring, while met with fierce denial from chemical companies, spurred a reversal in national pesticide policy—leading to a nationwide ban on DDT and other pesticides—and the grassroots environmental movement the book inspired led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency
What follows is chapter two from Silent Spring. It is still meaningful and relevant today, 50 years after it was published.
THE HISTORY OF LIFE on earth has been a history of interaction between living things and their surroundings. To a large extent, the physical form and the habits of the earth’s vegetation and its animal life have been molded by the environment. Considering the whole span of earthly time, the opposite effect, in which life actually modifies its surroundings, has been relatively slight. Only within the moment of time represented by the present century has one species — man — acquired significant power to alter the nature of his world. Continue reading →