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Free Study Guide for Silent Spring by Rachel Carson - Book Summary


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The complete study guide is currently available as a downloadable PDF, RTF, or MS Word DOC file from the PinkMonkey MonkeyNotes download store. The complete study guide contains summaries and notes for all of the chapters; detailed analysis of the themes, plot structure, and characters; important quotations and analysis; detailed analysis of symbolism, motifs, and imagery; a key facts summary; detailed analysis of the use of foreshadowing and irony; a multiple-choice quiz, and suggested book report ideas and essay topics.

 

SILENT SPRING BOOK REVIEW / NOTES


CHAPTER 15 - Nature Fights Back


Summary

People have spent great amounts of energy and resources to mold nature to their own satisfaction. It seems that this endeavor will be for nothing. Insects are adapting to insecticides to the extent that they have often become impervious to the poisons. One biologist remarked that no one knows enough about insects. As they study insects, they’re always astounded that the impossible often happens. Insects are undergoing a process of natural selection so that they are becoming resistant to insecticides. Moreover, the use of chemical poisons weakens the natural enemies of insects. At the end of decades of chemical controls of problem insects, people are finding the return of the same insects that they thought were gone for good. Insects that had once been regarded as only minor threats are becoming strong enough in number to become serious pests. Chemical controls are by nature self-defeating. They don’t take into account the complex biological structure of their targeted insects. They are tested against a few individuals, not against living communities.


Chemical control proponents often dismiss the ideal of not upsetting the balance of nature. They say the balance of nature has long since been upset and so it’s a moot point. What they don’t realize is that the balance of nature is in a constant state of adjustment. There is no such thing as the status quo of nature. People are part of this balance as well as insects, plants, and animals. Chemical control proponents overlook two important facts of nature: one, nature applies the most effective control of insects, and two, insects have an explosive capacity to reproduce once they have adapted to chemical control methods. Normally, nature controls this explosive population of insects and other forms of life. We see this happen over and over in the natural world. Cod, for instance, spawn millions of eggs, but the sea doesn’t become a solid mass of cod; only enough cod develop from those eggs to replace the parent fish.

When people interfere in nature’s control process, they upset the balance of nature. When people have tried to exterminate coyote, they’ve been surprised by a tremendous upsurge in field mice. When they’ve tried to kill off the predators of deer, they’ve seen deer.........


Notes

At the end of this chapter, Carson returns to the basic ethical appeal of the book: the idea that people have acted dangerously arrogantly toward nature and that if they would just study nature, they would find that it is self-regulating and that when it isn’t, as people we can nurture its.........

The complete study guide is currently available as a downloadable PDF, RTF, or MS Word DOC file from the PinkMonkey MonkeyNotes download store. The complete study guide contains summaries and notes for all of the chapters; detailed analysis of the themes, plot structure, and characters; important quotations and analysis; detailed analysis of symbolism, motifs, and imagery; a key facts summary; detailed analysis of the use of foreshadowing and irony; a multiple-choice quiz, and suggested book report ideas and essay topics.


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Silent Spring Study Guide - Free BookNotes Summary


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