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Marginal World by Carson

Initially, every natural creature was created uniquely and provided beautiful scenery to the people who appreciate nature. Nature is beautiful, and people need to protect the natural world because it allows them to meditate on various things. Many literary authors have written various nature genres about their experiences, but one of the novels that stands out to me most is The Marginal World by Rachael Carson. Carson shared his experience at the edge of the sea, where she explained the behavior of the living organism that stays in the region separating the sea and land. Carson’s experience and observation indicate humans’ connections with nature and emphasize the need to preserve our ecological environment. The marginal world explained by Carson acts as the microscope to ensure the delicate balance within nature, emphasizing the crucial role of humans in safeguarding these ecosystems for the well-being of the environment and our contemplative connection to it.

Carson’s story begins by telling the audience how interesting and beautiful it is to observe things happening on the sea’s edge. Her story explains how it is amazing to see the strong wave in the intertidal zone while living organisms survive in such a suffocating zone. In this region, the water level is constantly falling and rising depending on the behavior of the glaciers. Carson writes, “It rises or falls as the glaciers melt or grow, as the floor of the deep ocean basins shifts under its increasing load of sediments, or as the earth’s crust along the continental margins warps up or down in adjustment to strain and tension” (1). Carson’s sentiments show that many things happen in the intertidal zone and that humans should be responsible for protecting this environment. Carson gives various examples of living organisms, such as snails, that survive in that zone, which is very hot during the day and very cold during the night. Considering this aspect, human beings must preserve this ecological zone to ensure a balance that can help the organisms that survive in this zone.

Carson’s literary work, the Marginal World, explains how other creatures, such as birds, depend on the living organisms in the intertidal zone. Carson gives an example of the American flamingo that visits the marginal zone to feed on the living organisms surviving in that critical zone. In this regard, Carson indicates that preserving this intertidal zone means humans care for other creatures that feed on the sea. This ensures a delicate balance in the sea as overgrazing is minimized by the creatures that depend on each. In this context, Carson articulates that conserving this intertidal habitat is tantamount to conscientious stewardship of the marine environment, demonstrating humanity’s responsibility to its immediate surroundings and the broader ecological fabric. Moreover, Carson posits that maintaining the delicate balance in the sea is contingent upon ensuring that creatures like the American flamingo can continue to thrive without succumbing to the threats of overgrazing, thereby promoting sustainability and resilience in this dynamic ecosystem.

Carson’s work is supported by other literary scholars who focus on preserving ecological environments. Leopold and Dewey argue that the issue of preserving the environment is critical as people should appreciate nature and consider living organisms in the ecological environment (84). He says that human activities should be regarded to ensure that they cannot lead to the destruction of the areas within the intertidal zone. Human activities should be critically scrutinized to ensure they align with the principles promoting sustainability and environmental responsibility. By aligning with Carson’s perspective, Leopold and Dewey reinforce that preserving ecological balance necessitates a collective commitment to fostering harmony between human activities and the intricate ecosystems that sustain life.

The Marginal World by Carson is a work that is significant in persuading the audience of the essence of preserving the environment. Carson’s experience in this work shows a connection between nature and humans, and humans should pay attention to protecting the environment that preserves nature. The story makes the audience understand the interconnectedness of the ecosystem, focusing on the area that separates the sea and land. The explanation of the living organisms in this region exposes the delicate balance that sustains life in these unique environments. Carson’s work leaves a legacy that touches many policymakers and environmental activists, influencing a broader societal consciousness about preserving natural habitats. Stein echoes how Carson’s work influenced him and calls for more preservation of the natural environment (46). This work talks about how changes should be implemented in ecological policing to ensure that nature is preserved. By shining a light on the interdependence of living organisms within the marginal world, Carson’s work has become a touchstone for environmentalists, scientists, and policymakers alike, fostering a deeper appreciation for the intricate web of life and the responsibility humans bear in safeguarding the natural world.

From the above analysis of Carson’s work, it is evident that humans are responsible for protecting nature’s beauty. Based on Carson’s work, the intertidal zone is where many organisms occur, indicating the need to ensure a delicate balance. The narrative becomes a touchstone, inspiring a collective consciousness about preserving natural habitats and fostering a deeper appreciation for the intricate web of life. As supported by other literary scholars, Carson’s work calls for action to appreciate and protect nature so humans can coexist harmoniously in the natural world. Carson’s work shows that the human impact affects the fabric life of the environment more than the immediate world, as birds such as the American Flamingo depend on the marginal world, indicating the symbiotic relationship within the ecosystem.

Works Cited

Carson, Rachel. The edge of the sea. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1998.

Leopold, Aldo, and John Dewey. “Rachel Carson’s Marginal World.” The World in Which We Occur: John Dewey, Pragmatist Ecology, and American Ecological Writing in the Twentieth Century (2007): 78.

Stein, Karen F. Rachel Carson: Challenging Authors. Vol. 2. Springer Science & Business Media, 2013.


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