Silent Spring – the voice of a Conscience Mankind always considers itself as the most superior species in the earth. But, is its assumption really true? This is the question put forward by the novel Silent Spring written by Rachel Carson. The novel triggered the birth of several environment movements in the US leading to the ban of DDT…
The government re-evaluated its pesticide policy to make it environmental friendly considering the book as a whistleblower. Without Silent Spring we would have still continued our poor pesticide policy reign without any room for betterment or re-consideration. When industrial revolution was at its peak, several people including Karl Marx warned about overproduction and the recession which will follow it. When slavery was at its peak, people like Harriet Beecher Stowe created works like "Uncle Tom's Cabin" which posed a moral question to the US population (Logomasini, 2007). Carson was the first person to raise a voice regarding environmental protection in her era. The first chapter of the book "A Fable for Tomorrow" describes a serene town which lived in co-existence with nature. The second chapter starts with the verse "The history of life on earth has been a history of interaction between living things and their surroundings". According to Carson, humans are just a part of nature. Nature is not created to serve the mankind and trying to control nature for minor comforts will only lead to major discomforts. Rachel Carson known as "the nun of the nature" was born in Springdale in 1907. She grew up beside a factory in a landlocked area. She studied in Zoology the Pittsburgh Chatham University and later at the Johns Hopkins University. After completing a Master's degree she worked in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Her natural writing interest prompted her to contribute to magazines like the Reader's Digest (Griswold, 2012). She wrote three best sellers prior to Silent Spring, "The Sea around Us", "Under the Sea - Wind" and “The Edge of the Sea". Rachel was affected with severe breast cancer and suffered a painful death. Silent Spring emphasizes the theme, using pesticides to kill all the insects will eventually harm the food and the soil affecting the food chain, getting rid of all the bird species. The spring filled with bird chirrups and colourful butterflies will remain absolutely silent. The humans consuming this food constantly will suffer from various diseases and the cycle of birth will be banned. Throughout the seventeen chapters of the book, Carson continues to explain how aerial spraying of chemicals affects the natural food cycle by eliminating all the insects totally. The harvest in certain seasons might be high, but the chemicals used to kill the insects stays within the food grown and causes various diseases like cancer, to the people consuming the food. "Unlike the natural process of chemicals coming into the world where the earth takes millions of years to adjust to it, there is no such time for the earth to adjust to every synthetic chemical introduced into the world" states Carson. In her third chapter “Elixirs of Death” she goes on to explain about the origins of DDT and how it had been thrust upon the farmers after the World War II. She claims Dieldrin as a poison 40 times more harmful than DDT. It was a commonly used pesticide used to kill vermin in many parts of the US. The fourth chapter “Surface Water and Underground Seas” explores how the water washed into the seas and oceans from the chemically affected land shrinks our water sources endangering the whole humankind. It affects the fish in the sea and the birds consuming them too. Though these types of massacres are not intentionally planned, it is important to realize the side effects of using pesticides for high yield. The ...
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