- Why does Carson start the book with a fictional story?
- Carson spends the first 16 chapters describing the horror of toxic chemicals in the environment, and one chapter devoted to discussing alternatives to chemical use. How does this proportion increase/decrease the effectiveness of her arguments?
- What about Carson's style made Silent Spring so effective as to instigate historic policy change?
- Which of Carson's emotional pleas spoke to you the most? Sympathy for the earth? Plants? Animals and birds? Humans?
- Discuss the following quotes:
Quote 1: “As crude a weapon as the cave man’s club, the chemical barrage has been hurled against the fabric of life.” –Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
Quote 2: “The most alarming of all man’s assaults upon the environment is the contamination of air, earth, rivers, and sea... This pollution is for the most part irrecoverable.” –Rachel Carson
Quote 3: “We won’t have a society if we destroy the environment.” –Margaret Mead
- Do Carson's alternative measures of pest control seem credible to you as a "nonexpert"?
- Does this book make you rethink your use of pesticides and herbicides in your own lawn and garden?
- How does Carson portray the chemical users? How does this portrayal of the chemical users help or hurt her argument?
- Toxic chemicals' effect on the environment is still a very timely issue today. What has changed since Carson wrote this book? For better? For worse?
Menu Details: Hold the Pesticides Please
Whole Wheat Herb Bread-
Goat's Cheese Salad- Kate
Fruit Salad - Sherrie
Drinks - Tessa
Meeting Details: At Tessa's house on Thursday, December 2nd at 7:30. Discussion starts at 8:00.