Analysis Of Silent Spring By Rachel Carson

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Triumph Against Adversity
Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring in the early 1960’s as a response to the massive amounts of DDT being spread throughout the United States. DDT had first been introduced in the wake of World War II as a “wonder pesticide” that could eliminate all pests. The real problems began rising when farmers starting using much more of the pesticide than were necessary. Farmers were using as much as two pounds of DDT per acre on their crops, and not long after the effects were becoming noticeable in the food chain. (McKibben and Gore, pg. 365) When it became apparent the DDT usage wasn’t going to drop, Carson made her concerns known by writing the book Silent Spring. Her book describes the perils of using DDT not only to the
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The bald eagle is America’s national bird, a symbol of what it means to be an American. By focusing on the loss of these eagles, Carson was able to rally more people against the spraying of DDT because DDT was the main cause of the eagles’ deaths, “ the eagles have almost certainly been storing up the DDT in the tissues of their bodies, and like the grebes, the pheasants, the quail, and the robins, they’re are less and less able to produce young to preserve the continuity of their race,” (Carson, pg. 122). Carson had scientific proof that DDT was the cause of the dramatic decrease in eagle populations, and when she informed the public an almost immediate outcry arose against DDT. In 1963 the eagle population was down to 417 nesting pairs and no young to speak of. When DDT was discovered as the force driving this population decrease, the U.S. decided to completely ban DDT in 1972 (Carey). Carson’s book was published in 1962, and as it gained popularity and more people realized DDT was the true cause of the bald eagle decline. The bald eagle is such a powerful symbol for Americans; it represents strength, beauty and freedom to the American people. A terrible crime was being committed against the American people; DDT was not just decreasing the eagle population, it was killing the young. Choosing to use the eagle as an example in her book appealed to the …show more content…
Her argument eventually succeeded in banning DDT from use in America, and basically started the notion of environmentalism that followed her publishing of Silent Spring. Her book is one of the most iconic books in the environmental fields. It shows that it truly is possible for one person to cause great changes in the way people think. Rachel Carson went up against large chemical companies during the 1960’s when women were still establishing themselves in the working world. Despite these disadvantages, she was able to start a huge environmental movement, rallying people all across America and subsequently stopping the use of DDT in America. Her argument against pesticides continues to encourage research of its effects on organisms to this day. Although she was not able to completely stop chemical pesticides, she was the first to raise the red flag against them, and as a result the usage of pesticides has been carefully monitored and reduced. Carson took that first step, standing up for what she believed in and crafted a beautiful and effective argument in support of her ideas. To this day she continues to be a role model and trailblazer for many people interested in environmental

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