Summary and Critiques on the “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson
Chapter 1 –
A Fable for Tomorrow
The chapter starts describing a Utopian town in America, through each season. In
the spring, there would be “white clouds of bloom drifting above the green fields”
(Carson 1). In autumn, there would be many trees with vibrant colored leaves on them.
Even in the winter, many birds would come to feed on the berries. People traveled from
far distances to observe the bird patterns and diversity. There were also streams, which
contained pools blossoming with trout. This is the way it has been for countless years, but
then, deathness conquers. Farmers are ill, the town doctors are baffled, there are
Children would be playing out side, and five hours later, they would
be laying dead in bed. The chickens, cattle, and sheep are all gone. There are no more
bees to pollinate the fruit trees, and the only birds that we seen were injured. All the
robins and jays were silent, and there are no more chicks hatching from eggs. Farmers
weren’t able to raise pigs, for the young pigs could not survive. The townspeople noticed
a fine, white dust seeping into their gutters and over their rooftops.
clarifies and states that there is no such town, but the possibility of such a tragedy
happening is possible.“… Every one of these disasters had actually happened somewhere,
and many real communities have already suffered a substantial number of them” (3).
Soon, if we don’t take action, these events will become reality and we will all be in
danger of a loss of biodiversity.
Rachel Carson begins her novel with a fictional dream, one that will never occur.
There will always be death and demise, however; we are making it worse. A great quote
from this chapter was “No witch craft, no enemy action had silenced the rebirth of new
life in this stricken world. The people had done it themselves” (Carson 3). This shows
that our actions are leading to our own fall, which is so true. We are dumping chemical
poisons into our environment, and soon we will be in trouble. Our added chemicals are
disrupting the homeostasis around us. Carson uses a biblical allusion to the Garden of
Eden here, and she shows the fall of man as the chemicals and pesticides in the
atmosphere. The fall of man includes the loss of birds, the unexplained deaths of children,
and the lack of balance in the ecosystem. This fall might just be a “fable for tomorrow”,
but it can happen, especially at the rate of pollution that is occurring now. Al Gore was
inspired because of her novel, and that proves that this first chapter truly impacted
people’s lives. This chapter is well written, and entices readers to find out the harsh
reality about what is occurring in our world.