The following excerpt is from “A Fable For Tomorrow” (from Rachel Carson’s book

by | Sep 18, 2022 | English | 0 comments

The following excerpt is from “A Fable For Tomorrow” (from Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring).
There was once a town in the heart of America where all life seemed to live in harmony with its surroundings. The town lay in the midst of a checkerboard of prosperous farms, with fields of grain and hillsides of orchards where, in spring, white clouds of bloom drifted above the green fields. In autumn, oak and maple and birch set up a blaze of color that flamed and flickered across a backdrop of pines. Then foxes barked in the hills and deer silently crossed the fields, half hidden in the mists of the fall mornings….
Then a strange blight crept over the area and everything began to change. Someevil spell had settled on the community: mysterious maladies swept the flocks of chickens; the cattle and sheep sickened and died. Everywhere was a shadow of death. The farmers spoke of much illness among their families. In the town the doctors had become more and more puzzled by new kinds of sickness appearing among their patients. There had been several sudden and unexplained deaths, not only among adults but even among children, who would be stricken suddenly while at play and die within a few hours.
There was a strange stillness…. No witchcraft, no enemy action had silenced the rebirth of new life in this stricken world. The people had done it themselves.
This town does not actually exist, but it might easily have a thousand counterparts in America or elsewhere in the world. I know of no community that has experienced all the misfortunes I describe. Yet every one of these disasters has actually happened somewhere, and many real communities have already suffered a substantial number of them. A grim specter has crept upon us almost unnoticed, and this imagined tragedy may easily become a stark reality we all shall know.
Carson creates a hypothetical town and tells her story to set the tone, background, and “stage” for the reader. This is often called an anecdote. That is, she uses the brief story (with use of clear, precise, vivid narration and description) to illustrate a point she plans to make, her ultimate purpose of which is to bring to light the grim reality she goes on to discuss – society’s overuse of chemicals and pesticides, and the like is destroying our very existence.
Your assignment:
Think of an issue you would like to discuss or tell your readers about. Then, write a short introductory story – or anecdote – to draw the reader in, create a scenario (real or hypothetical) that the reader can relate to and which can lead to the actual issue you wish to discuss. Many of us have brief encounters or situations – “stories” – that have happened to us and may even illustrate a specific point. Feel free to draw from your own experience if you have such a scenario.
Some suggestions:
The importance of going to college and getting a degree.
The importance of teamwork in sports, school, and/or business.
Why “honesty is the best policy.”
The importance of communication and/or trust in a relationship (friendship, romance, business, etc.).
The fact that giving or a random act of kindness can actually help the “giver” feel better.
The devastating effects of bullying on school-aged children and adolescents.
A need to help orphans and children in war torn countries.
*** Or, simply choose an issue of your own. In fact, you can choose to narrate an intro for your upcoming Evaluation (C&C) essay, if you like. ***
Choose a submission type

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