Graduation Year

2021

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Runner Up, 2017-2018, Best Gateway Essay Contest

Gateway Professor: Professor James Simone, Political Science

Abstract

When Rachel Carson was a little girl growing up in Springdale, Pennsylvania, she fell in love with the wilderness. While all around her, factory after factory was beginning to spew toxic waste, Carson loved to get away from it all by venturing into the “deep woods” to observe birds. From a very young age, Carson was able to articulate her thoughts eloquently, giving her the opportunity to be published several times in St. Nicholas Magazine. When she was 15, she wrote her first article about her enchantment with nature, foreshadowing her future as a nature writer, and it was later republished in a book called Lost Woods: The Discovered Writing of Rachel Carson. In it, she wrote about “a gently sloping hill… the sort of place that awes you by its majestic silence, interrupted only by the rustling breeze and the distant tinkle of water” (p. 13). This love of nature was something she called her “favorite recreation”-- which also happened to be the title of her article. Carson’s love of the escape into nature can be likened to that of Thoreau. Much like a transcendentalist, Carson in her early days used nature to get away from everyday stresses, and she idealized it as something separate from man and beautiful in its own way. Her love of nature blossomed and she soon developed an interest in the study of biology, transforming her romanticized love of nature into a scientific understanding of the way man interacts with the natural world.

Disciplines

English Language and Literature | Rhetoric and Composition

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