Rachel Carson Essay

Sarah (Sunho) Min AP Environmental Science Doherty The Influence of Rachel Carson “Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains on nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter (Carson, Silent Spring). ” Rachel Carson is widely acknowledged as a significant figure that advocates increased protection of the Earth. Her quote displays the zeal that Carson dedicated to preserving the health of the Earth’s environment.

It portrays her affection for the eauty of nature, and shows that she deemed it an important part of her life. Carson is a significant individual who made a huge impact on the health of the environment through her words and actions. Rachel Carson was born into her beloved world on May 27, 1907 on a farm near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Carson’s love for nature may have been engendered by several sources. Among them includes the farm that she lived on, which provided a beautiful environment filled with nature.

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The twenty-six hectares of land owned by the Carson family consisted of numerous fields, trees, and streams. Furthermore, Rachel’s mother, Maria Carson, was a schoolteacher who loved nature. Maria taught her daughter to enjoy the outdoors and the beauty of nature. Although Carson entered Pennsylvania College for Women as an English major in order to be a writer, she felt she lacked the creativity to write interesting, fictional stories, and thus, switched to a biology major. She was highly interested in the ocean, and first encountered a real ocean during a summer at the U.

S. Marine Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. She also studied zoology at Johns Hopkins and earned her masters degree in that subject. In addition, she was a part of the zoology staff of the University of Maryland for numerous years and taught at their summer school. During graduate school, Carson tended to a part-time Job, assisting in a biology lab. When the Great Depression approached in America and her father suddenly passed away, Carson’s teaching Job was insufficient to provide for her mother and herself.

Therefore, she had to pursue a Job with greater pay and found work for a federal government agency, the Bureau of Fisheries in Washington, D. C. Soon thereafter, another tragedy happened and Carson’s sister passed away, leaving behind two daughters. With an increased responsibility to take care of them, Carson needed a job that provided her with more money. When a position as a biologist opened up, she applied and received the Job. Her Job required her to analyze data on fish populations and used the skills she accumulated while studying English in college to write brochures for public eyes.

Eventually, her outstanding work earned her a promotion, and she gained the title of Editor-in-chief of publications for the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In 1953, Carson met a woman named Dorothy Freeman who snared ner Interests In nature. I ney conslstently wrote to one anotner wnlle apart nd spent many summers together. The two were an inseparable pair of friends, and Dorothy influenced Rachel in her pursuit to preserve and protect nature. Rachel Carson is best known for warning against the effects of pesticides on the environment through her popular book, Silent Spring.

The idea of creating this informative book against the use of pesticides arose from a letter from an old friend, who lamented the loss of birds in his town. She was reminded of the pesticides that had grown in popularity following the world war. There were many pesticide- producing companies such as DDT that became a huge industry after people realized ow effective the substance was. Carson realized that pesticides caused the deaths of not only mosquitos but also birds. The thought of a spring without singing birds caused Carson to name her book “Silent Spring”.

In her work, she pointed out that humans suffered Just as the birds suffered from pesticides by saying: “Man, however, much he may like to pretend the contrary, is part of nature. Can he escape a pollution that is now so thoroughly distributed throughout our world? ” She listed the detrimental effects pesticides had on natural ecosystems, and maintained that they also caused cancer and other illness in humans. She also predicted the dire consequences of pesticides in the near future. She explained that the pests could grow immune to the pesticides, while the environment would have suffered significantly.

There was also a possibility that birds that ate the mosquitos subject to pesticides would also be killed. Although there were criticism and slander towards Carson’s book, there was also much support. By 1969, there were forty bills aimed at controlling pesticides created. In November of 1969, the use of the leading pesticide, DDT was banned. Her book was a significant stimulant that began the contemporary environmental movement. Although Silent Spring was the most widely acknowledged and influential work created by Rachel Carson, it wasn’t the only work that she produced.

Prior to writing her famous book concerning pesticides, she wrote Under the Sea Wind in 1941, The Sea Around Us in 1951, and The Edge of the Sea in 1955. These books contained knowledge about the ocean, which she gained through her research and studies. She also wrote articles and pamphlets on conservation and natural resources, such as “Help Your Child to Wonder” and “Our Ever-changing Shore”. These writings established her as a prominent naturalist and science writer for the public. Rachel Carson was an extremely important fgure that raised awareness for the environment and allowed for the ban of DDT by the Supreme Court.

By doing so, she affected the planet by saving countless birds whose lives may have been endangered by products such as DDT. Rachel Carson’s most endearing characteristics consist of being intelligent and considerate of other beings in the world. Her prolific knowledge of the environment allowed her to understand the consequences of pesticides and write a highly influential book that substantiated her concerns with factual evidence and plausible consequences of pesticides. Her care for beings was the underlying reason why she fought for protection of nature.

Other admirable traits she displayed include bravery and persistence. Although she expected fierce criticism in opposition to the ideas contained in the book Silent Spring, she followed through with her convictions and published it. Her persistence is evident in the way she finished Silent Spring. During the time that Carson was wrltlng tne 000K, sne was Olagnosea wltn Done cancer, ana was growing conslaeraDly weaker as time passed. She finished the book with great difficulty, and passed away ithout being able to see the amazing effects the book had, such as the ban of the use of DDT.

By being persistent and finishing the book, she was able to make a change in the world that benefited countless people and animals. Following Rachel Carson’s example, I will be more considerate of the other beings that live in the world. From her story, I now understand that I can make an impact on the world through effort, persistence, and bravery. One small act that I can do in theme of Rachel Carson is to reduce the use of pesticides in my house. Hopefully, I can start with small actions and build them up to make as big an impact as Rachel Carson ade in the world.

Works Cited “Rachel Carson Quotes. ” Rachel Carson Quotes (Author of Silent Spring). N. p. , n. d. Web. 08 Aug. 2013. “Rachel Carson, 1907-1964: Environmentalist and Author. ” VOA. N. p. , n. d. Web. 08 Aug. 2013. “National Women’s History Museum. ” Education & Resources. N. p. , n. d. Web. 08 Aug. 2013. “Rachel Carson’s Biography. ” The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson. N. p. , n. d. Web. 08 Aug. 2013. “Rachel Carson Biography. ” Bio. com. A Networks Television, n. d. Web. 08 Aug. 2013. “Rachel Carson NWR – Carson’s Bio. ” Rachel Carson NWR – Carson’s Bio. N. p. , n. d. Web. 08 Aug. 2013.


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