What literary/rhetorical devices can be found in some of the chapters of Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring, such as in the chapter titled "The Obligation to Endure" and "The Other Road"?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In chapter 2, "The Obligation to Endure," Carson uses an em dash to emphasize her claim of fact that humankind has relatively recently acquired the power to alter the environment in this sentence:

Only within the moment of time represented by the present century has one species—man—acquired significant power to alter the nature of his world.

Carson also uses imagery and metaphor to describe pollution, terming it a "chain of evil." She employs refutation to state that in nature today "there is no time" in the modern world for life to adjust to the assaults of mankind's damage to the environment, though she concedes that when left alone, nature has, over time, rebounded from naturally occurring radiation. Carson also quotes Albert Schweitzer's use of personification to enhance the ethos of her argument:

Man can hardly even recognize the devils of his own creation.

Carson opens chapter 17, "The Other Road," with an allusion to Robert Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken," but instead of fully borrowing his...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 511 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team