Reading and Discussion Questions for Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
Please post after reading up to page 50 in the PDF.
Please consider one or more of the questions below in your discussion post this week. You need not consider all four, but you must attempt a brief response to at least three to of the questions in your post, and answering #5 is required. You must respond to at least three posts by your classmates by the deadline posted (a few days after the initial posting deadline). (Please click on “Reply” under the post to which you wish to respond.)
Use the comments field to post your response. Use the threading function to respond to your classmates’ posts. (Note: It is recommended you write your response in a text document and paste it in when it is complete. The comments field is limited to 2000 characters–if you wish to make a longer post, please divide into more than one post.)
1. Carson’s first chapter explains the title of her book. Why is it called “Silent Spring”?
2. Why does she suggest that chemical insecticides and herbicides be called “biocides”? What idea is she expressing by using this word? Is Carson opposed to the use of all toxins?
3. According to the text, what is uniquely problematic about DDT and other chlorinated hydrocarbons?
4. According to the text, how do toxins contribute to water pollution?
5. Silent Spring is considered a science writing classic. What do you notice about the writing so far in the first few chapters? (Note, this question requires an observational and analytical answer, not a response merely of taste, i.e. like or dislike.)
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