Free Essay

Our Endangered Environment

In: Science

Submitted By joeygoey
Words 1190
Pages 5
Have you ever considered how many different types of chemicals are on the food you are eating for dinner? That is exactly what Rachel Carson writes about in her novel Silent Spring. Pesticides are all around us, they are in the air we breathe, the water we drink and the ground we walk on. Their effects on our bodies and the environment are unknown, but chances are that they are not going to be good. Rachel Carson dedicates an entire novel to try to prove her point of how horrible they are for the world. She argues constantly that we need to find an alternative before it is too late. Within her arguments, Carson uses several different methods and types of evidence while trying to convey her point.
Throughout the entire novel, Carson is constantly putting down the use of pesticides. However, everything she says would be useless if she did not have evidence. She uses qualitative and quantitative data several times throughout the book. Her use of qualitative data begins with her first paragraph. She describes the beauty of nature and how much life is abundant in it. Then as her fictional story continues, she begins to start explaining how none of this would be with the continuous use of pesticides. Carson also goes into detail describing the disastrous effects that it could leave on the environment as a whole. Her realistic descriptions of the possible harms of the pesticides can really appeal to the reader. With the vivid descriptions that she has, the reader can imagine the world as she describes it and then imagines the effects that could occur if the problem persists. Our imagination can only jump to the wildest conclusions and those conclusions tend to be very grim.
The second use of data that Carson uses is quantitative data. She uses quantitative data to really express how serious of a situation that we are in. She begins by listing the number of chemical that are being used for pesticides. The number, is however, quite high and in the reader’s mind the higher the number the more frightening the situation can be. She uses the example of how human beings have taken thousands of years to adapt to our world today and that the adaption process is not a quick one. The use of qualitative and quantitative data throughout the story helps Carson prove her point and make her message heard.
The other types of argument that Carson uses is both the appeal to character, which is ethos, and the appeal to emotions, which is pathos. Carson’s use of ethos occurs throughout the excerpt. Ethos, which is trying to define the character of the author, is determined to helping build the credibility and making the paper believable. Carson does a very good job at this because she constantly has evidence to back up what she is saying. Every time she makes a strong statement regarding the use of pesticides, she has some supporting evidence to back it up. This evidence helps the reader realize that Carson is in fact telling the truth and is not just making things up. As she continues to provide more and more evidence, it helps her credibility to consistently increase. By the end of the novel, the reader has a strong feeling that Carson knows what she is talking about and has been given a strong believable negative view on pesticides.
The second use of evidence that Carson uses is pathos, which is appealing to the emotions of the reader. Carson does a very good job at using pathos. She constantly is describing how the world and the environment could be destroyed if the use of pesticides stays consistent. She makes the reader aware of the consequences and makes them want to act immediately. She is able to appeal to their emotions by describing the danger that comes with the use of pesticides. She also goes into detail describing how the use of pesticides could harm our health. Once the reader realizes that something could end their life early, they begin to take more of a notice. One of the strongest emotions that humans have is fear, and if someone can connect with the fear, they can make anyone believe something. Showing the reader that the pesticides could shorten their life, will make them more aware of what is going on and will make them act quicker. The use of ethos and pathos throughout the novel is one of the strongest and convincing ways to make the reader feel the message.
Besides the qualitative and quantitative data and the use of ethos and pathos, Carson uses relations to the past and imagery to get her point across. She explains the evolution of human beings and how long it has taken us to adapt to all the things in our environment. Then she relates it to present time, where thousands of new things are being introduced into our daily life and how we may not be able to evolve quick enough to become accustom to them. Her use of imagery also gets her message heard. Carson is constantly describing the environment being destroyed or life being halted early. The reader’s imagination most likely takes that imagery and imagines a horrible world, and that only helps Carson. She also uses a strong pattern to organize her arguments. First, she starts with a strong story of a pretend world that is coming to an end because of the overuse of pesticides. She then follows that story with several strong statements and facts, which are then supported by evidence. The excerpt goes on with her with more and more statements that are continuously supported by evidence. By the end of the book, she has the reader believing what she has said and then she ends, just like she started, with a strong message.
After reading everything the reader most likely has a strong feeling about how they feel about pesticides and the use of them. With all the supporting evidence and appeal to the reader, the reader may feel overwhelmed and have to sit back and think about everything they have just read. Carson provides some very strong arguments against the use of pesticides and with the use of all different types of evidence, she writes a very convincing argument. She set out with a purpose and that purpose was to make the reader aware of the danger in the world, and I believe she does just that.
Rachel Carson uses several different types of evidence throughout the novel. The evidence she uses is supporting all of her arguments. Together as a whole, she was able to build her credibility, make her message felt by the reader, all while, using concrete data to back it all up. The organization and the methods that she uses are unique and valid. Carson had one goal throughout the entire book, and it was to show the world what they are not seeing. She wanted to make it known that they are unknown dangers lurking in the environment and that without any intervention, there could be serious consequences.

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