Class Notes (835,873)
Canada (509,459)
York University (35,286)
English (906)
EN 1700 (45)
all (17)


3 Pages
Unlock Document

EN 1700
All Professors

Professional Writing: Process and Practice EN 1700 – Fall/Winter 2009/2010 – Jan Rehner Lecture 11 – Carson – Nov 30 Carson’s Call to Action - First manifesto. - Brought environmental issues on the map. - Was first seen in the New Yorker. - Published as a book in 1962. - Led to government inquiries, court cases, beginning political protests – ‘Green peace mission’. - Environmental protection agency in the US. - Banning of the most dangerous pesticide DDT. - If you read it narrowly, it’s about pesticides and its effect on people and wildlife. - It is a radical critique, quite subversive-challenge the status quo. - It is critique’s the world’s blind face of technology. - The first to take on the corporation and especially corporate greed. - Part of the nature writing tradition. - Is not a romantic narrative, or solitude. - Carson is one of the 1 writers to blend science writing and literature. Writes scientific evidence in an understandable way to ordinary readers. She is able to write narrative way. - Fables teach you a moral lesson. - The moral that Carson says in the beginning of the text: is a call to action – ‘no witchcraft, no enemy action… in this stricken world the people have done it to themselves.’ She points out that we have done it to ourselves. - This plea to attention and call to action, 45 years later, that it was not so small and not so obvious after. - Pesticide use, nuclear, acid rain, depletion of the ozone layer… etc. Carson’s Rhetoric and Style - Kind of strategies helps to explain the impact of this book and its wide appeal. - Its readability – lots of research put into simple reading. - Scientific part is strong. - She has one chapter in the book ‘Elixirs of Death’ – how pesticides work. Making science accessible, targets the average person rather than science experts. - Throughout this text, juxtaposes housewives and their experience with pesticides against science and business. They speak in length and straightforward language. Identified by their hometown or their actual name. - In contrast, the ‘controllers’ – chemical salesman, scientist, grey, faceless, unquoted and nameless. She is putting the personal against the impersonal. It persuades you as a reader. - Usually only the experts are quoted, people of power. - She inverted the power structure. You want people to believe that they have power; they have expertise because they use it. There is a type of lived expertise that is important for Carson to tap into. - Carson has made unlikely heroes in the book: the Songbird (Robin), and the American eagle. - Robin is a common songbird. - She describes in detail, a songbird dying. - American eagle was already an endangered species. It is the national symbol of the US. Symbol of freedom, American frontier. Appears on money. - As Carson points out, pesticides result to American eagle not being able to reproduce. - National Audubon Society – protection lands and specifically in birds. Carson was able to have them back her up. - Her language shifted the way people thought about human beings and nature. - Patterns of imagery: o The nuclear mushroom cloud: Hostility between the superpower, made people believes nuclear attacks. Feared radioactive fallout due to its invisibility. Silent spring enlightens pollution to radioactive fallout. o Invisible poisons. o Lethal laws. o Shadows. o Chapter titles. o Metaphors of nature – she does this with 2 repeated phrases: ‘The Web of Life’ and ‘The Balance of Nature’. To Carson nature was not a passive object. It was organic living whole. Complex web of interconnections.
More Less

Related notes for EN 1700

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.