Rachel Carson: Pioneer of Ecology Critical Essays

Kathleen V. Kudlinski


(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

In an afterword, Kudlinski states that Carson’s books had helped her to choose a career in science. While her admiration for Carson is obvious, she makes it clear that she thoroughly researched her topic, research that led her to examine primary materials of Carson’s life that were available at Yale University.

Kudlinski presents Carson as a brilliant woman whose diligence toward the tasks before her determined that whatever she accomplished would be done thoroughly. Her life was divided between her career and her family’s needs. Although she never married, she cared for her parents, the two nieces who were orphaned by her sister’s death, and the little boy also left orphaned when one of those nieces died an early death.

Kudlinski selects incidents in Carson’s life that were pivotal in her growth or career. Each of the chapters, which are about six pages long, is developed around such an incident. Short chapter titles announce the events that are developed in the chapters. The eight chapters are divided so that they give an overview of Carson’s career.

In each chapter, Kudlinski develops a story that indicates how a certain issue became important in Carson’s life and how Carson’s action or decision to resolve the incident set the stage for the next chapter. Historical events are also described if they affected the subject’s life or career. The Great Depression, for example, made it necessary for Carson to provide a home for her mother....

(The entire section is 610 words.)