Silent Spring: Chapter 7 Analysis

By EmilyClaire Peden and Jeremy Phelps


Human's are careless about the environment, guilty of slaughtering the buffalo and wiping out species of birds. Chemicals spraying has become indiscriminate. The citizen is at a loss to know who tells the truth about the matter when conservationists say one thing, and the government agencies and chemical industry say another. Carson says the expert, "the "professional wildlife biologist" on the scene, is the one to trust. Sportsmen and the wildlife enthusiasts complain about the loss of nature, and they have a valid point of view. Even one spraying does real harm, but most spraying is done repeatedly, often with the sanction of government agencies, such as the Michigan Department of Agriculture, which sprayed Detroit to control the Japanese beetle in 1959.Walter Nickell, a known Michigan naturalist, declared he has seen no rise in beetles; the whole operation was kept in secret.
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"Under the philosophy that now seems to guide our destinies, nothing must get in that way of the man with a spray gun" - This quote is important because it shows that human kind is dangerous and nothing must get in the way of it and it's deadly chemicals.

"The choice of Aldrin, one of the deadliest of all chemicals, was not determined by any peculiar suitability ... but simply by the wish to save money - Aldrin was the cheapest of the compounds available." - This quote is important because it shows that the government doesn't care about the effects of the deadly chemicals on the environment, the government only cares about how much it will cost to get the job done.

"By 1960, every species of wild mammal known to inhabit the area had suffered losses." - This quote shows that the government did no research on the effects of the chemicals, that or the government had no mercy and didn't care about the environment enough not to cover the lands with deadly and poisonous chemicals.

What we found puzzling/ surprising

Something that surprised us was how uncaring the government was for the environment. The government didn't seem to care or understand how the different pesticides and chemicals were effecting the nature. Animals and plants were dying in all of the covered areas and it seems as though the government did nothing to treat the sick and dying lives of species upon species of animals and plant life.

Whats CHanged

The Endangered Species Act of 1973 requires that federal agencies to ensure that their actions do not jeopardize the existence of any species or result in the deconstruction of designated critical habitats of such species. Includes spraying pesticides.

Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act of 1996 provides for federal regulation of pesticide distribution and use. All pesticides distributed in the US must be registered by EPA. Before EPA may register a pesticide under FIFRA, the applicant must show that using the pesticide according to specifications will not generally cause unreasonable adverse effects on the environment.

And several other acts have been passed to provide protection for the US environment from pesticides.


Carson uses a lot of evidence from different documented uses of chemicals. She has evidence from many different types of pesticides. She uses ethos, pathos, and logos to further improve her argument and make it a more educated debate.
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Ethos, Pathos, Logos

Carson uses ethos, logos, and pathos to prove how detrimental and deadly pesticides are.

She uses logos by providing numbers and facts: "All had similar symptoms: vomiting, chills, fever, extreme, fatigue, and coughing." These facts provided information about how the pesticides were effecting people in deadly ways.

She uses ethos by using ethics and the characteristic spirit of a community as manifested in its beliefs and aspirations: "The first indication that the people were concerned about the spray was a call I received on Sunday morning from a woman who reported that coming home from church she saw an alarming number of dead and dying birds." This shows that the pesticides had effects that were destructive and crushing to the communities spirit.

She uses pathos by provoking sadness and pity from the reader: "his office was full of clients with dogs and cats that had suddenly sickened." This evokes emotion from the reader as they are saddened by the sickly effects the pesticides had on animals.


Carson's claim is that pesticides are atrocious and deadly. Her evidence from this chapter is indication just how destructive the chemicals are. We agree with Carson's claim because her documentation of the destructiveness proves just how deadly and dangerous the chemical pesticides are.


"About the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP)." EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, 13 Apr. 2017. Web. 27 Apr. 2017.

"Summary of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act." EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, 10 Jan. 2017. Web. 27 Apr. 2017.

"Pesticide Laws and Regulations." National Pesticide Information Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2017.


"50th Anniversary of Silent Spring." 50th Anniversary of Silent Spring | BirdNote. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2017.

"Protecting People From Pesticides." Earthjustice. N.p., 06 Sept. 2016. Web. 28 Apr. 2017.

"Pesticides News, Articles and Information:." NaturalNews. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2017.

"Silent Spring at 50: Reexamining Rachel Carson's Classic." Silent Spring at 50: Reexamining Rachel Carson's Classic | PERC – The Property and Environment Research Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2017.

"USDA Study: Pesticide Use Dips in U.S." ET Sprayers. N.p., 27 May 2014. Web. 28 Apr. 2017.

"Unhealthy Effects of Pesticides." Unhealthy Effects of Pesticides | ENCOGNITIVE.COM. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2017.

"The Challenge." Thought For Food. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2017.

Simplified, Learning. "Effects of Pesticides on Pollution." World's Fastest Growing Educational Portal. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2017.