The Silent Spring- Rachel Carson

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We do not need a special day or a special occasion to remember her but yet when I think about it I find this is the perfect day. The Twenty Seventh of May, one hundred and seven years ago, was born a lady who fifty five years later would be the cause to save millions of life. A woman who would be stay in the minds of people and be looked upon as a legend.

Yes we are talking about Rachel Carson the famous whistle blower and the author of the book “The Silent Spring”. Rachel Carson was a woman who was in love with nature and this love played a huge role in shaping her life and her career at a later stage.

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Born in Springdale, Pennsylvania, she used to write stories inspired by the nature and the specially the sea. She was fond of writing and always wanted to become a full-time writer. She was not one of those born with silver spoon children and had to face a lot of financial difficulties. She had to abort her plan for a doctorate, in 1934, in wake of her poor economic status. This burden intensified even more after her father’s death in 1935. She nevertheless went on to become the second woman hired by Bureau of Fisheries for full time professional position after performing exceedingly well in the civil service examination. In 1937 however her sister died and she was now the only person to take care of her mother.

It was in 1958 when Carson first began to research about DDT as a cause for “silencing of birds” in the spring, and thus was born “The Silent Spring”.  She never really thought that it would be a book and a newspaper article was what she had in mind. Being an ardent lover of nature she got completely engrossed in the research and then decided to write an entire book.

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She was a woman with infinite courage and determination, and the time to come was to test her for just that. The Silent Spring faced a huge opposition from the chemical industries.  DDT was widely popular and was sprayed over the fields in huge amounts to prevent mosquitoes but Rachel’s book threw light on the detrimental effects of DDT. She highlighted the fact that the widespread use of DDT was the cause of the death of birds in the area. This obviously threatened those who were making a lot of money by selling the chemical. So they decided to stop defame her in every possible way.

Being an unmarried woman Rachel had to bear harsh remarks against her personal life and her character. Some said that if we believe her the world would be lead back into the Dark Age. Few of them even went on to say that she was a communist as despite of her beauty she remained unmarried.

I never understood however how was that suppose to be related to the ban of DDT, perhaps they thought that being a woman she would not be as emotionally strong. They tried to break her but she stood against them all. She went on to testify before President John F. Kennedy’s Science Advisory Committee and earned their support. A ban on DDT was then issued.

Now years later when we know that, it was by not following her, the world would have been lead back to the dark ages. She is a great example for women. She not only fulfilled her duties as the bread winner of her house which is till today considered to a man’s job but also stood against the world to prove her when the time demanded it. Struggling within a world full of prejudices, she proved that there is nothing that a man can do and a woman cannot.

This is something that should be inside every woman, the fire to prove and the strength to stand against those who think they can demean her. In this society that is ready to deprive you of everything you deserve unless you stand up and demand for your rights, it is important to realize your true potential.

Rachel however suffered breast cancer followed by respiratory problems. Gradually her body withered away as she was later detected with anaemia, developed due to repeated sessions of treatments where she was exposed to harmful radiation. In the end however it is not for her beauty that the world remembers her but for her unparalleled determination. She dared to speak out against the wrong, in a world where women are expected to mind their own business. To be quiet about everything and just accept what comes in the way. But this world will not be same if women realize what they can do and break those shackles of bondage. Free herself from the four walls of the house she is expected to stay confined in and perform the duties of a good mother, a good wife and a good daughter-in-law.

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