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The main theme of Silent Spring is the destruction of the delicate balance of nature by the wholesale use of insecticides. Rachel Carson carefully explains what the balance of nature is. She describes the balance of nature of the soil, of the earthís waters, and of the organisms of the earth. Then she informs the reader of the ways chemical poisons upset that balance and thereby kill life.
The minor theme of Carsonís book is the alternatives to chemical poisons for controlling insects. At every point at which Carson describes the destructiveness of chemical poisons on the ecosystem, she also informs the reader of alternative methods of accomplishing the same ends. The alternative methods work with natureís already existing balance and help it along. They are cheaper, safer, and longer lasting than insecticides.
The mood of Silent Spring is one of urgency. Carson employs the literary conventions and the language of melodrama to inspire the readerís admiration for the beauty and harmony of nature and also to inspire the readerís repugnance for the reckless destruction caused by chemical pesticides. Even though Carson uses melodramatic language, she also supplies the reader with exact and scientific evidence to back her claim that the earth is in desperate need of protection from chemical poisons.