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Silent Spring Essay

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Whereas the focus of Bookchin's analysis was "the relationship between human and human," Silent Spring's center of gravity lay in Carson'sreworking of deeply conventional conceptions of balance of nature and the web of life. When the president of the chemical manufacturing company Monsanto characterized her as "a fanatic defender of the cult of the balance of nature," he was reacting to what is indeed the book's central metaphor. Carson's nature—a "complex, precise, and highly integrated system" characterized by relations of "interdependence and mutual benefit," and regulating checks and balances—was the new science of ecology's rendition of a conception that goes back to antiquity. In its explicitly theological eighteenth-century form, for example, the harmony and order underlying nature's economy had a divine source: God's providence ensured a system of perpetual balance among all living things, in which each creature had its allotted place. The "balance of nature...

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This section contains 1,026 words
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Silent Spring from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.