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Ill Effects of Environment in the Heart of America in Silent Spring: Analytical Essay

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“There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature- the assurance that dawn comes after night and spring after winter” – Rachel Carson

Nature remains as the beginning of the world. It is believed that God created nature first and then human beings to preserve and enjoy its ambiance. Human’s duty to preserve nature have been started since creation. But in these days nature is destructed by us and demolished by us. Environment is devastated for many decades by human beings and many illustrations like Bhopal tragedy and Chernobyl disaster stands as best example. The consequences of these tragedies remain as untold stories and few incidents are witnessed by the present generation. The selected novel for the dissertation Silent Spring is a chronicle which records the incidents and ill effects of environment in the heart of America.

Rachel Louise Carson is an American Marine Biologist, author, and conservationist. Her novel Silent Spring has been credited with global Environmental Movement. Rachel was born in Pennsylvania. She began her carrier as an Aquatic Biologist in the U.S.Bureau of Fisheries and she became a full time nature writer in the 1950’s. Late in 1950’s, Carson turned her attention to the conversation of nature, especially focused on some problems that were caused by synthetic pesticides. As the result of this attention she wrote Silent Spring, although Silent Spring was met with fierce opposition by chemical companies, it motivated a reverse reaction in national pesticide policy, which led to national wide ban on DDT and other pesticides. It also inspired a Grassroots environmental movement that led to creation of the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. Carson was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Jimmy Carter. Rachel Carson played a key role in birth of environmentalism in the 20th century.

She wrote pamphlets on conservation and natural resources and edited scientific articles,lyric prose, first as an article Undersea (1937, for the Atlantic Monthly), and then in a book, Under the Sea-Wind (1941). In 1952 she published her prize winning study of the ocean, The Sea Around Us, which was followed by The Edge of the Sea in 1955. These books constituted a biography of the ocean and made Carson famous as a naturalist and science writer for the public. Carson resigned from government service in 1952 to devote herself to her writing.

She wrote several other articles designed to teach people about the wonder and beauty of the living world, including Help Your Child to Wonder (1956) and Our Ever-Changing Shore (1957), and planned another book on the ecology of life. Embedded within all of Carson’s writing was the view that human beings were but as one part of nature. Rachel Carson disturbed by the profligate use of synthetic chemical pesticides after World War II, Carson reluctantly changed her focus in order to warn the public about the long-term effects of misusing pesticides. In Silent Spring (1962) she challenged the practices of agricultural scientists and the government and called for a change in the way humankind viewed the natural world.

Carson was attacked by the chemical industry and some in government as an alarmist, but courageously spoke out to remind us that we are a vulnerable part of the natural world subject to the same damage as the rest of the ecosystem. Testifying before Congress in 1963, Carson called for new policies to protect human health and the environment. She spent a lot of time exploring around her family’s 65-acre farm. An avid reader, she began writing stories at age eight and had her first story published at age ten. The natural world, particularly the ocean, was the common thread of her favourite literature.

Racheal was considered to be a loner. She changed her major from English to Biology on her own interest. She wrote Civil Services exam and became the second woman hired by the Bureau of Fisheries for a full-time professional position, as a junior aquaticbiologist. Some of her works include Under the sea (1941), Fishes of the Middle West (1943), Fish and Shelfish of the Middle Atlantic Coast (1945), Parker River (1947), Bear River (1950), The Sea Around Us (1991), The Edge Of the Sea (1998), Silent Spring (2002). During the 1950s Rachel Carson conducted research into the effects of pesticides on the food chain, which condemned the indiscriminate use of pesticides.

Rachel Carson played a key role in birth of environmentalism in the 20th century. Rachel fused her love of nature with a love of reading. Her preferred literature usually featured animals. Carson converted large numbers of people to environmentalism. She grabbed their attention with Silent Spring, her most influential book. Published in September 1962, it dealt powerfully with human-generated destruction of the natural world. Carson converted large numbers of people to environmentalism. She grabbed their attention with Silent Spring.

Carson believes a concept that preserving nature is humanity and it explained with a quote “It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know the sense of wonder and humility” (The Sense of Wonder). Rachel Carson thus remained as an Environmentalist and a nature lover who took efforts to save and protect it. Rachel Carson died in 1964 after a long battle against breast cancer. Her witness for the beauty and integrity of life continues to inspire new generations to protect the living world and all its creatures.

Margaret Eleanor Atwood is a Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, inventor, teacher and environmental activist. As a novelist and poet, Atwood’s works encompass a variety of themes including the power of language, gender and identity, religion and myth, climate change, and power politics. Atwood, a Canadian writer best known for her prose fiction and for her feminist perspective. In addition to writing, Atwood taught English literature at several Canadian and American universities. She won the PEN Pinter Prize in 2016 for the spirit of political activism threading her life and works. Atwood has received more than fifty-five awards, including two Governor General’s Awards, the first in 1966 for The Circle Game, her first major book of poems; the second for her 1985 novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, which was made into a movie. In 1981 she worked on a television drama, Snowbird, and had her children’s book Anna’s Pet (1980) adapted for stage (1986). Her recognition is often reflective of the wide range of her work. She is also a major public figure and cultural commentator.

Most of Atwood’s fiction has been translated into several foreign languages. A new Atwood novel becomes a Canadian, American, and international bestseller immediately. There is a Margaret Atwood Society, a Margaret Atwood Newsletter, and an ever-increasing number of scholars studying and teaching her work in women’s studies courses and in North American literature courses worldwide. Atwood writes in an exact, vivid, and witty, style in both prose and poetry. Her writing is often unsparing in its gaze at pain and unfairness. Atwood writes in an exact, vivid, and witty, style in both prose and poetry.

Her writing is often unsparing in its gaze at pain and unfairness. She is perhaps best known, however, for her novels, in which she creates strong, often enigmatic, women characters and excels in telling open-ended stories. Some of Margaret Atwood’s books have been adapted for stage and screen. Margaret Atwood is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Atwood writes about art and its creation, the dangers of ideology and sexual politics; she deconstructs myths, fairytales and the classics for a new audience. Her work is often gothic, which is one reason for its wide popularity. Atwood is known for both the quality and the quantity of her writing. She has published novels, shorts stories, poems, and works of literary criticism. As a critic, she is best known for her Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature.

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Atwood has repeatedly reinvented herself over the course of her career. She has written science fiction, speculative fiction, historical fiction, and realistic fiction. Science is usually an important theme in her books, and Atwood agrees that having a father who was a scientist played an important role in her interest in exploring this field. Perhaps Atwood’s most famous work is Surfacing (1973), which tells the story of a girl who returns to her childhood home of Quebec to search for her missing father, a botanist who has disappeared in the woods.

Atwood has spoken and written prolifically on the art of writing and on being a writer. Her books often engage with the power of language and the necessity of storytelling and conveying one’s point of view through writing or speaking. Atwood is also a feminist writer, and when she first became well known in the 1970s, she was considered not just a role model and groundbreaker for Canadian writers, but for female writers as well. Atwood not only spoke about issues of gender in the world of publishing, she also wrote about many of the issues of concern to feminists from the 1970s and till today.

Atwood has always commanded a great deal of respect, and one of the explanations for the attention she has received is her insistence on depicting issues of gender, science, power, and truth in all of their complexity. Already considered one of Canada’s highest-achieving writers, Atwood will undoubtedly continue to play an important role in Canadian and World Literature throughout her life.

She is a feminist by nature and her fiction revolves around a woman character in most of her novels. Her writing has an impact on the reader’s mind and one is forced to think about the connection between reality and fiction after reading her stories and poems. Her fictional work consists of historical as well as scientific backdrops with a strong and independent woman as its central character. Her stories have realistic yet imaginative textures which converge thoughtfully with open endings that tend to make a greater impact on the society. Many of her stories have been adapted into stage plays and movies in addition to the translation of her works to almost 30 languages. She is considered as a literary genius with the ability to connect her fictional character with the deepest emotions of the reader and society. She is an international award winning prolific author and also a well known humanist.

Her wide range of work reflects her unique personality, which also makes her a leading public figure and cultural commentator. Her literary work is a precious gift to the society which undoubtedly makes her immortal. She strongly raises her voice about environmental issues and is the joint honorary presidents of the Rare Bird Club within Bird Life International. Margret Atwood has written several novels and some of her most important novels include The MaddAdam Trilogy, The Edible Women(1969), Surfacing (1972),Lady Oracle (1976), The Handmaid’s Tale(1985), Cat’s Eye (1988) and The Blind Assasin (2000).

Margaret Atwood in her novels, short stories and even poetry uses a similar style of writing. It is a style that is not only distinctive but also effective. Her sense of description is one of her best talents. It allows her to create pieces of work that constantly reinforce her themes of political chaos and the effect that a patriarchal society has on women. As a feminist writer, much of her work deals with how men not only empower women but how they manage to hurt each other. Using parallelism and symbolism as springboards, Margaret Atwood writes to inform and perhaps warn her reader of the exploitation of women and sometimes even helpless men who exist within a society.

In bodily harm, Atwood develops her thematic concerns in even more global dimensions, in both figurative and geographical senses. This piece of work at times tends to be a very political feminist novel, immediately concerned with such issues as body image, female sexuality, male-female relationships, and male brutality in a patriarchal society. Through her writing of this novel, Atwood seems to project her anger towards a patriarchal establishment and value system that continues to enforce it with excessive privileges and powers, both personal and political.

On Comparing the two different writers the dissertation is to be about the comparison of destruction of ecology and its connection with human beings. The novel Silent Spring remains as the best example how nature is destroyed slowly and the novel Surfacing shows the importance of connection with nature and human being. The theory to be applied for the study is Eco Criticism. Eco criticism is the study of the relationship between literature and the physical environment. Eco Criticism was proposed by the pioneer or the father of this theory in the USA, Cheryll Glotfelty. Ecocriticism takes as its subject the interconnections between nature and culture, specifically the cultural artifacts of language and literature. As a critical stance, it has one foot in literature and the other on land; as a theoretical discourse, it negotiates between the human and the nonhuman.

Ecocritic William Howarth draws our attention to the roots of ‘ecocritic’, ‘Eco and critic both derive from Greek, oikos and kritis, and they mean ‘house judge’. Ecocriticism is an umbrella term used to refer to the environmentally oriented study of literature and the art, and the theories that underline such critical practice. It is a new critical method available to critics to analyze the literature. It is concerned with nature writing and ecological themes in all literature. It deals with ecological problems like pollution, global warming, climate change, deforestation, species extinction and other ecological exploitations. It is associated with the desire to investigate and remedy the current environmental problems. It is the study of literature and environment from an interdisciplinary point of view where all sciences come together to analyze the environment and brainstorm possible solutions for the correction of the contemporary environmental problems.

Nature is no longer a vast realm of unknown, unmanageable or uncontrollable wild non-human activity. Much of the earth is a built environment and a planned habitat as atmospheric chemistry is modified by pollution, weather events are restructured by urbanization, architecture encloses whole biomes in sprawling megacities and biotechnology re-engineers the base codes of existing biomass. There are finite resources on earth, and the more that some limited portion of humankind uses, the less is available to others. Humans are actually derailing the human rationality by tampering with nature. They construct islands by destroying mountains; cut down forests and fill the seas with poison and garbage; clone pets but hunt down wild animals; build junkyards in the sky but bereft the sky of birds; accumulate junkyards in the sky but deplete the earth of its treasures; build golf courses in the desert but decertify the plains and so-on and so forth.

In the mid 1980s and early 90s, there has been a substantial growth in environmental literary studies. While ecocritics study literature written throughout history and analyze its relationship to the environment, most scholarship has focused on American and British literature from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Peter Barry in his essay “Ecocriticism” in The Beginning Theory asserts that Ecocriticism began in the United States of America in the late 1980s and as Green Study in the United 8 Kingdom in the early 1990s. Ecocriticism in the United States of America took its literary bearings from nineteenth century American writers whose work celebrated nature and the wilderness as manifested in America. Eco Criticism is a broad genre and is known by many names: Green Cultural Studies, Ecopoetics and Environmental Literary Criticism. It also referred to by some other fields such as ecology, social ecology, biopolitics, sustainable design, environmental history and environmentalism. The common ground on which all strands of Ecocriticism stand is the assumption that the interactions between human and their natural environment should help to resolve the ecological predicament. Ecocriticism being a new field, different thinkers and critics have used the approach and mode variously and accordingly defined the term in different ways.

Ecocriticism is not just a meaning of analyzing nature in literature; it implies a move towards a more bio-centric world-view, an extension of ethics, a broadening of human’s conception of global community to include non human life forms and the physical environment. Ecocriticism is the term used for the observation and study of the relationship between the literature and the earth’s environment. It takes an interdisciplinary point of view by analysing the works of authors, teachers, and poets in the context of environmental issues and nature.

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