In Rachel Carson's essay "The Obligation to Endure," why does Carson make references to Elton's The Ecology of Invasions as well as to Paul Shepard and Neely Turner? [see quotations below]"This...

In Rachel Carson's essay "The Obligation to Endure," why does Carson make references to Elton's The Ecology of Invasions as well as to Paul Shepard and Neely Turner? [see quotations below]

"This worldwide migration has been studied and graphically described by the British ecologist Charles Elton in his recent book The Ecology of Invasions."

"Such thinking, in the words of the ecologist Paul Shepard, 'idealizes life with only its head out of water, inches above the limits of toleration of the corruption of its own environment . . .'"

"'The regulatory entomologists . . . function as prosecutor, judge and jury, tax assessor and collector and sheriff to enforce their own orders,' said Connecticut entomologist Neely Turner."

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vangoghfan | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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In her essay "The Obligation to Endure," Rachel Carson quotes from or otherwise cites a number of experts, as when she writes as follows:

"This worldwide migration has been studied and graphically described by the British ecologist Charles Elton in his recent book The Ecology of Invasions."

"Such thinking, in the words of the ecologist Paul Shepard, 'idealizes life with only its head out of water, inches above the limits of toleration of the corruption of its own environment . . .'"

"'The regulatory entomologists . . . function as prosecutor, judge and jury, tax assessor and collector and sheriff to enforce their own orders,' said Connecticut entomologist Neely Turner."

Carson offers such quotations for a number of reasons, including the following:

  • They demonstrate her own expertise by showing her familiarity with various respected experts. They thus give her arguments greater authority and credibility.
  • They show that highly authoritative students of the subject support her arguments, so that she does not seem to be expressing merely personal opinions or arguing in a vacuum.
  • They allow her to emphasize her points by quoting prose that is memorably expressed, as in the last quotation from Turner.
  • Taken together rather than separately, they suggest a consensus of opinion that supports Carson's concerns and claims.

 

Sources:

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