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Silent Spring | Chapter Summaries


Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
Chapter 1 The book opens with a fable that describes a profound change taking place in a town affected by blight. The once vibrant... Read More
Chapter 2 The chapter begins with the claim the history of the earth has been one of interaction between living things and the env... Read More
Chapter 3 In Chapter 3 Carson argues every person is subjected to "elixirs of death," i.e., harmful chemicals, across the life spa... Read More
Chapter 4 Chapter 4 begins with the claim water is our most precious resource, yet for its abundance on Earth, only a small percen... Read More
Chapter 5 Carson opens with the claim living things need soil to survive. She explains the role of soil as part of nature's cycle,... Read More
Chapter 6 "Earth's green mantle," i.e., plant life, along with water and soil, is necessary to support animal life. Carson claims ... Read More
Chapter 7 Carson argues humanity's goal of conquering nature has left needless destruction of life in its wake. Even worse, she cl... Read More
Chapter 8 Carson states in many areas of the country birds are being destroyed by the use of pesticides, resulting in a "silent sp... Read More
Chapter 9 Carson describes the effect of pesticides on river life, specifically the loss of salmon in the Miramichi River in New B... Read More
Chapter 10 In this chapter Carson argues the public's attitude toward poison has changed. We have become complacent to that which w... Read More
Chapter 11 Spraying is not the only threat of environmental contamination. Across the life span, humans are subjected to repeated e... Read More
Chapter 12 Rather than the threat of disease, humanity now lives with a threat we ourselves have created: environmental hazards to ... Read More
Chapter 13 Using the analogy of seeing the universe through a narrow window, Carson focuses on the cell to view the greater impact ... Read More
Chapter 14 Cancer-causing elements have been present in nature even before life existed. However, Carson argues "they are few in nu... Read More
Chapter 15 According to Carson, nature fights back in response to the chemical attacks by humans. First, as only the strong insects... Read More
Chapter 16 Carson argues intensive use of chemical spraying results in "survival of the fittest," with many insects now resistant t... Read More
Chapter 17 Carson proposes humanity has two choices in its efforts to subdue nature. The first, easier choice is that of indiscrimi... Read More
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