RQ: Carson, “Silent Spring” 1-13


Keep the following questions in mind as you Rachel Carson, “Silent Spring,” 1-13. The questions are designed to guide your reading practices and our class discussions. You are not required to provide formal answers in class or online.

Chapter 1

What happens in the first chapter? What sort of scene does Carson establish? How does it set up the rest of the book?

What sorts of comparisons does Carson establish in the first chapter, ex: between winter and the blight; between bird and human migration; and between environmental and nuclear devastation?

What sort of detail does she include and what sort of work does the detail do?

What is blight, and how do the people in the town register they are in the midst of it?

What does the title of the book, Silent Spring, refer to?

Chapter 2

How does the first chapter set up the chapter that follows?

What, according to Carson, has man done to most harm the earth and why?

Why is the following an example of ecology, “Stonium 90, released through nuclear explosions into the air, comes to earth in rain or drifts down as fallout, lodges in the soil, enters into the grass or corn or wheat grown there, and in time takes up its abode in the bones of a human being, there to remain until death” (6).

Why does America after WWII require so much pesticide?

What solutions beyond mass spraying of pesticide does Carson offer to fight pests and infestation?

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