Rachel Carson Essay

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Chloe Mott Block 2A November 15, 2011 Ignorance is Lethal Rachel Carson, a biologist, wrote a book entitled Silent Spring that helped change American’s attitudes about their environment. In the Silent Spring passage Carson describes how farmers rid themselves of vexing or inconvenient creatures, a majority of them being birds. The farmers kill the birds by spraying a poison called parathion, which is capable of “protecting” the area in which it is administered for extended amounts of time. In the passage, Carson provides all three types of rational appeals-ethical, logical and emotional- in an effort to raise awareness and encourage action about the issue of using poisons that have the potential to kill animals. She expresses these appeals by using various rhetorical strategies such as diction and syntax. Carson makes an ethical appeal by providing evidence of how the chemicals can harm animals by referencing a study done by Fish and Wildlife Service. She explains the Fish and Wildlife Service believe that the parathion is a, “’Potential hazard to humans, domestic animals and wildlife.’” After which she lists several example of why these concerns are valid. Carson uses an appeal to authority because people are more likely to take action that can initiate change if they are receiving information from an official in the area of concern. In addition to Carson’s ethical appeal, she also makes an emotional appeal to the reader. She relates the issue of spraying poison on plants back to how it can affect the reader. She creates an emotional connection with the reader by asking thought provoking questions. She appeals to the better side of human nature by instigating a feeling of guilt from the readers own selfishness by asking questions that make them think of other people. For example when she asks, “Does Indiana still raise any boys who roam through woods or

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