Silent Spring

Essay by NickersUniversity, Bachelor's January 2008

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How does the author of the following extracts use language to convey changes and contrasts in mood and meaning?Within the extracts of Rachel Carson's first chapter of Silent Spring she uses a variety of language techniques to convey the contrasts of the two different scenes.

To begin with the majority of her sentence structures are long ones that contain formal and complex words, for instance 'prosperous' and 'moribund'. Some sentences include the use of the semi-colon where she has emphasised a certain point, for example in the fourth paragraph '… there was now no sound; only silence …' here she emphasises the silence by using an echo and the semi-colon. By doing this, the reader is most likely to find that section striking and memorable-which is most likely what Carson wanted to portray.

However, a few short sentences are used for an impact too, these appear to contain formal words but not as complex as the longer ones, particularly in the fourth paragraph 'There was a strange stillness.'

compared to the longer sentences this gives the impression of certain importance due to how short and stark the sentence is.

Secondly, instead of using clear repetition Carson has cleverly employed the technique of using echoes for emphasis. In the first two paragraphs she repeats how beautiful and vigorous the town is no matter the seasons by describing the different types of beauty, notably '…in spring, white clouds of bloom drifted above the green fields.' and 'Even in winter the roadsides were places of beauty, …'. Here her skill of imagery is shown in a good way with vibrant descriptions. This skill is used again to give you an idea of how the once beautiful and vigorous town has now become a land of emptiness 'Everywhere was a shadow of death'...