At the end of chapter one, Carson uses the metaphor of a "grim specter" that has "crept upon us" with a blight that is poisoning the environment and killing plant and animal life.
In chapter two, Carson quotes Albert Schweitzer's metaphor; he said "man can hardly even recognize the devils of his own creation" in reference to nuclear weaponry. Schweitzer and Carson express the idea metaphorically that this technology is evil.
At the end of chapter two, Carson characterizes the responses to public protests against chemical companies as "little tranquilizing pills of half truths" and "the sugar coating of unpalatable facts." She asserts that it is humanity's right to know the full truth about the use of pesticides because it is humanity's "obligation to endure" as a species.
At the beginning of chapter three, Carson metaphorically describes the chemical industry as "a child of the Second World War," as she points out that chemicals designed to kill people were first tested on insects.