A Fable For Tomorrow

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Increased profits, easier production of food, reduction in malaria and typhus incidents – pesticides such as DDT promised all this and more. No wonder that when production and agricultural use of pesticides has skyrocketed after WWII only few people had second thoughts about using the miracle chemicals. Rachel Carson was one of those people who questioned releasing the mystery chemicals into the environment without properly understanding the long term effects. In her book, Silent Spring, Carson raises environment concerns and points out that many problems are caused by pesticides. Written in 1962, the book challenged the audience, all those in favour of using pesticides, to question their impact on nature. The first chapter, A Fable for Tomorrow, is a short narrative about a town “in the heart of America” which dies as a result of heavy pesticide use. The title of the chapter itself implies that the story is fictional but provides a moral lesson, much like a fable does. Carson begins with a lyrical description of a town where everything lives in harmony. It is a “place of beauty”, the perfect rural world and an absolute utopia where wildlife, birds and fish are abundant, where “prosperous farms” and magnificent forests thrive. Suddenly there is a sharp transition in the middle and the tone changes dramatically. The idyllic town is now ruled over by “strange stillness”, illness and death. The author deliberately parallels images of harmony and beauty with those of death and sickness and uses words that evoke strong emotional response. Carson provides many vivid and dark images of the town where balance of nature has been disturbed by human hands. ”Some spell had settled on the community” – the birds that were once abundant are now “moribund”, the streams that “flowed clear and cold out of the hills” have turned lifeless, the once beautiful roadsides are now “lined

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