How does the author of the following extracts use language to convey changes and contrasts in mood and meaning?

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Rachel Louise Carson born in 1907 was raised in Springdale, Pennsylvania a rural river town (Lear 1998). Her works as an author included five books, one posthumously and numerous newspaper articles. A conscientious writer she concentrated on the environment and its beauty.

Her use of the word ‘fable’ in the title prepares the reader for a moral Journey. Understanding how the narrative unfolds will automatically lead the reader to their own conclusion on the effects of chemical pesticides. The author allows us to examine two scenarios; the first extract highlights her affinity with nature, expressing her thoughts as images in a painting. In this text she describes the unity of both nature and man as we the reader are guided through the seasons. She uses the medium of light and colour to expand upon her portrayal of a perfect world, managed and controlled by organic methods. This extract which is a positive interpretation allows us to view a landscape filled with beauty.

Our perception of what is right and wrong uses color and light. In many films we see the good guys dressed in light or vibrate clothes; whilst the gangster or criminals are dressed in black. The author is using this symbology in her dialogue to describe what one could assume to be her ‘Eden’.

Acting as an antonymic study the author uses the second extract to describe the effects of chemical pesticide proliferation. Again engraving an image into our mind she describes this disease moving over the landscape as a dark cloud. Where once was light and color we are now greeted by tones of grey. Chambers et al (2002 p.144) suggests that we view writing as a craft, the author has definitely done this, although she does show bias. Her use of language draws us into observing the absence of normality; no longer do we hear birdsong, it has been replaced by a void of silence and illness. By relating to the presence of people as a source of this problem, she has shown them both as contributors and victims. To support her moral lesson she uses strong words such as ‘moribund’ and ‘evil’ to help paint her bleak picture. In her conclusion she explains this is a sign of what may come, a culmination of disasters that have affected individual communities. She has issued a warning, a stark realization that we are destroying ourselves; she relies on her fear to animate her writing.

In effect the author has presented us with symbols of good and evil. Her use of light and color portrays a picture in both the positive and negative. She has also allow us to view the absence of what has been perceived as ‘normal’ as illness or disease. This combined with her use of strong words incites fear and remorse. (467 words)REFERENCE LIST: Chambers, E. and Northedge, A. (2002) The Arts Good Study Guide, 4th Edition Milton Keynes, The Open University.

Lear, L. (1997) Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature, USA, Holt.