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Introduction and The Fable for Tomorrow

Page history last edited by maroeftering@... 13 years, 2 months ago
  A. Introduction
      1. Political Influence
      2. Silent Spring vs. Uncle Tom's Cabin
B. A Fable for Tomorrow
     1. Summary : A Fable for Tomorrow
       2. Literary Terms
     3. Quote
C. About the Authors
     1. Al Gore
      2. Rachel Carson
D. Summary
     1. Introduction
     2. Fable for Tomorrow

1. Political Influence

  •   Huge political effects of book explained
  •   Begining of modern environmental movement, before main environmental concern focused on national parks
  •   DDT and other pesticides banned in U.S. (although we still produce and export some)
  •   Brought new issue to entire population


  •  Some people rejected it because...

              - didn't want to lose money by changing their ways

              - she was a woman

          - thought of as an extremist

              - helped farmers

          - other scientists said not all effects directly linked


  • Quote

           "Silent Spring was published in the early years of a decade that was anything but silent, a decade when Americans were perhaps far readier than they had been

                 to hear and heed the book's message."                                 

                                                          -Al Gore, Introduction pg. 17


2. Silent Spring vs. Uncle Tom's Cabin


  •  Uncle Tom's Cabin, a book about slavery, was not as influential because it explained a topic already in people's mind, while Silent Spring presented a new problem
  •  Silent Spring much more relevant today
  •  "So you're the little lady who started this thing," Abraham Lincoln to Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of  Uncle Tom's Cabin  
     "You're the little lady who started all this," Sen. Abraham Ribicoff to Rachel Carson

    "Uncle Tom's Cabin Covers." Uncle Tom's Cabin and American Culture. 1982. http://www.iath.virginia.edu/utc/uncletom/illustra/covershp.html. 29 May 2007 <http://www.iath.virginia.edu/utc/uncletom/illustra/covershp.html>.


 A Fable for Tomorrow:
  •  Describes a beautiful, country town with singing birds, prosperous farms, white clouds, green fields, large trees, roaming creatures
  •  Then, sickness came over the town. People, animals, and plant all died and disappeared.
  •  Not a real town, rather an imaginary town that has encountered all the effects of DDT reported.
  •  People bring this on themselves
  •  foreshadowing- To present an indication or a suggestion of beforehand; presage

          ("Foreshadowing." Dictionary.com. 2006. 29 May 2007 http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/foreshadowing.)

  •  hyperbole- obvious and intentional exaggeration.

          ("Hyperbole." Dictionary.com. 2006. 29 May 2007 http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hyperbole.)

  • Metaphor – “A Fable for Tomorrow” relies heavily on metaphor to emphasize the dangers of pesticide use. 
  • Imagery – In “A Fable for Tommorrow”, Carson works, at first, to create a homely, wholly American setting in a small rural town. She then describes, with a sort of mysterious detail, the downfall of the town.  This use of imagery to illustrate her point aid her in the delivery of her message.


(Picture from Nixon, Ian. "A Fable for Tomorrow." New Internationalist. 2000. 29 May 2007 <http://www.newint.org/issue323/fable.htm>.




"No witchcraft, no ememy action had silenced the rebirth of new life in this stricken world. The people had done it themselves."

                                     -A Fable for Tomorrow, pg. 3

  • the quote describes how the people changed their own world
  • the use of DDT killed all nature and wildlife in the town, as well as the town's beauty
  • the people brought their suffering upon themselves, and Rachel Carson wrote her book to protect them from that fate
  • no matter how much the people blamed some other cause for their misery, it was their own fault


Author of Introduction: Al Gore
Al Gore
  •   Written By Former Vice President Al Gore (Clinton Administration)
  •   Inspired by Rachel Carson, read Silent Spring when he was younger, has a picture of her in office
  •   Big reason in why he is concerned about environment today (An Inconvenient Truth)
Author of Silent Spring: Rachel Carson
Summary – Introduction
Rachel Carson truly devoted herself to her cause, and spent a great deal of her time, and ultimately health, trying to spread the word of the damages humans were causing through use of pesticides such as DDT. Despite the doubt of the scientific community at the time of Silent Spring’s release, it actually contained many valid points and arguments, as well as rock solid evidence, proving how destructive these chemicals could be. At the time of her death, a mere two years after Silent Spring was published, people were only beginning to realize what she was saying was true. Year’s later her so-called radical ideas entered the scientific mainstream, and governments around the world began to take action. Only years after her death was she praised as a respected female scientist, and renown for her expert use of writing as the an everlasting tool for her noble cause.
Summary – A Fable for Tomorrow:
Carson uses the setting of a small typical small rural village to describe what could be the future of the United States. She uses subtle details to hint at present use of pesticides by the people of the village. Carson describes how the small community is normal at first, with a healthy population, vibrant environment, and lively wildlife. However, as time continues, fewer and fewer birds are heard singing, hardly any wildlife is ever spotted, and more and more people – mostly old and young – are getting sick. Carson then insists that this has already happened to multiple communities, and will continue to happen if something else is not done.

"DDT." EPA. 30 Apr 2007. 21 May 2007 <http://www.epa.gov/pbt/pubs/ddt.htm>.
"BookRags Study Guide on Silent Spring." 21 May 2007. <http://www.bookrags.com/studyguide-silentspring/>
"The Story of Silent Spring." Natural Resource Defense Council. 16 Apr 1997. NRDC. 21 May 2007 <http://www.nrdc.org/health/pesticides/hcarson.asp>.



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