What literary and rhetorical devices are there in the first chapter of Silent Spring by Rachel Carson?

Expert Answers

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

In her short opening chapter, Carson relies almost entirely on pathos, the rhetorical device of emotional appeal, to move her audience. Later, she will use logos, the logical appeal, to provide a convincing array of scientific fact and expert opinion to argue the importance of regulating the environment. For now, however, she works to engage the emotions.

Story and sensory details envelop us in a world and once in that world, our emotions come into play. Carson uses the literary device of juxtaposition to tell two different stories and paint two different scenes side by side. In one story, the land is alive with life, brimming with fecundity, sound, sight, and beauty:

Along the roads, laurel, viburnum and alder, great ferns and wildflowers delighted the traveler’s eye through much of the year. Even in winter the roadsides were places of beauty, where countless birds came to feed on the berries and on the seed heads of the dried weeds rising above the snow. The countryside was, in fact,...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 728 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