Control work V-VII

1.  Text “Overload” A. Hailey


LA-2 (6, 12) (pp. 262,263):

6. Who do you consider the mouthpiece of the author? Prove your point of view.

I suppose that it is Laura Bo, who is the mouthpiece of the author. Her position prevails over the other positions during all extract. The way she speaks during public hearings, the way she expresses her attitude towards a new power plant at Tunipah – all these things let me presume that it is she, who expresses the author’s point of view. Her manner of dressing, behaving and speaking leaves no doubt that she is the very person who is a determinant factor in the public hearings, and she is not a person to play games. Her speech is very emotional; her arguments are well-reasoned and persuasive. Just so the author conveys his ideas to his readers.

12. What is the final idea the reader is left with? Why?

The final idea, as far as I can judge, may sound as follows: foreseeing the long-term effect in the rush for profit is extremely necessary. Otherwise, we have nothing in store, but polluted air, water and woodland. In other words, we’re constantly doing harm to our planet, and it does harm to us. We kill ourselves. So, our survival depends on our common sense.


Answer the questions:

What is your general impression of the extract? What do you think it is caused by? How does the language of the story contribute to the feeling you get? How can you characterize the composition of the story (is it traditional, jumbled)? How do the stylistic devices the author employs help him render the ideas? (first give the idea, quote the text, give the stylistic term, expand on the idea saying HOW the device emphasizes the idea; give some 3 – 4 examples) (2 pages)


My general impression of the extract is that this text was written with a certain aim – to show us that foreseeing the long-term effect is very necessary. It is of great importance, especially when we speak about preservation of the environment and wild-life conservation. The story makes us stop and think about the way we choose to get profit, to use technological know-how and progress. This impression is caused by the well-reasoned dispute between the Sequoia Club (Roderick Pritchett, the manager-secretary, and Mrs. Carmichael, the chairman) and the corporation Golden State Power & Light (Nim Goldman, the vice-president of the corporation). This dispute touches upon the important questions of wild-life conservation and progress. And human life, I should say, surviving (and fate) of the mankind, depends on preservation of the environment. Formulating it in the plain terms of good and bad, I would say that the impression the extract produced on me is rather good. This extract is not a story with some mysterious plot, the plot is rather simple, and the composition is traditional; there is no adventure, and it is not a detective story. But it is very involving because of the problems it touches upon.  The author chooses words with great care to convey his ideas, uses a wide range of stylistic devices to express the beauty and magic of natural life and the “ugliness” of some “high-pollution industrial plant”. A short analysis of the language of the story is given below.

 The author uses some special devices to express and emphasize ideas of the text.  So, he uses the graphic means to accentuate emotional tenseness of the conversation between Pritchett and Nim. We can see that it is Pritchett, who takes first place in the conversation – he interrupts Nim, he doesn’t let Nim finish his phrases: “But it should also be said… - That’s enough, Mr. Goldman!” “…Besides, in proportion to the total area around Tunipah… - That’s sufficient, Mr. Goldman.” Thanks to the graphic means we can see that the words “enough” and” sufficient” are emphatically stressed by the speaker. Moreover, we can see Nim’s uncertainty and hesitation, his inability to defend himself because of the using of unfinished sentences (Nim’s rejoinders and answers).

The author describes two photographs.  The rhetorical question “It isn’t a pretty picture, is it?” is used in order to convey Pritchett’s sarcasm and to emphasize the unattractive landscape in the photo. To render the idea of natural beauty, the author uses the complex adjectives with strong emotional expression (like “the breathtaking beauty”, “a foamflecked stream”). The metaphors “a stand of majestic pines” and the repetition of modifiers “under a clear, azure sky” are used in order to create a colourful picture of natural beauty. The author also uses the contraposition of graphic highlighted word-combinations: “this hideous ugliness … upon this serene and glorious beauty”. The using of antonyms “hideous” and “glorious” emphasizes a big difference between these two photos.

In the other part of the text we encounter the repetition once again. Speaking about Tunipah, Mrs. Carmichael uses the repetition: “Tunipah is one of the few, the very few, remaining natural wilderness areas in California. (We see that the intensifier “very” is used, it is Gradation (or Climax)) It abounds with treasures of nature – trees, plants, flowers, streams, unique geologic formations, animal, bird and insect life, some extinct elsewhere. The region is, above all, magnificently beautiful.” The elements repeated attract our attention as being the most important. In a way this repetition imparts additional sense to the whole of the utterance. We see and feel all beauty of the region. “To despoil it with a huge, ugly, high-polluting industrial plant…” - it is another synonymic repetition, arousing quite different feelings. These three attributes aren’t synonyms but they have the idea of the industrial plant‘s “harmfulness” and “foulness”. The author uses the repetition very often in this extract: “A principle is involved, a life-and-death principle…”, “As modern society has developed – cities, urban sprawl, industry, highways, pipelines, all the rest…”, “tremendous, irreversible environmental damage”. All of these repetitions create certain moods that are transferred over to the reader.

There is an interesting phrase in the text: “You let a mouse, or mice, prohibit a project which will benefit millions of people?” It is a rhetorical question and there is a repetition again: “mouse”-“mice”; but the antithesis is brought to the forefront: the contrast between “mouse” and “millions of people”. Incompatibility of scales imparts sarcasm to this phrase.

In the phrase: “We have all been moving, and still are, towards environmental suicide.” we see another stylistic device. Using the word “suicide”, the author resorts to exaggeration, I should say, even hyperbole, to show that pollution and unwise resource management represent a serious danger to nature and human lives.


FA (3).   “Progress” is one area may be harmful to life and nature as a whole (1 page)

I agree that the statement “Progress is one area may be harmful to life and nature as a whole” is right. In general it is right. We can see all the negative consequences of “progress” - polluted air, contaminated water, spoiled soil… And I can continue by citing more examples. Too many people don’t think about the harm they cause to the environment and nature by using deleterious materials and establishing industries without any care about nature. We kill ourselves by “progress” if we don’t care about our environment, because we are part of nature. And to do harm to nature is to kill mankind. Let me show you some negative consequences of our “progress”.

I’d like to begin with air pollution. It is a great problem caused by human activities. Human contamination of the earth’s atmosphere can take many forms and has existed since humans first began to use fire for agriculture, heating, and cooking. During the Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries, however, air pollution became a major problem.

Besides, we have another problem – water pollution. Mainly it is caused by sewage, industrial wastes, and agricultural chemicals. It is a result of “progress” too. It hurts all animals and people, who somehow or other use water. For example, pesticides’ highly toxic elements are accumulated in the bodies of fish and eventually in the bodies of people who consume fish. And you can conjecture its negative consequences.

Another side of the problem of pollution is soil pollution. Soil is a mixture of mineral, plant, and animal materials that was formed during a long process that may take thousands of years. It is necessary for most plant growth and is essential for all agricultural production. Soil pollution consists of toxic chemical compounds, salts, pathogens (disease-causing organisms), or radioactive materials that can affect plant and animal life. Unhealthy soil management methods seriously degrade soil quality, cause soil pollution, and enhance erosion. Treating the soil with chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and fungicides interferes with the natural processes occurring within the soil and destroys useful microorganisms.

Unwanted sound, or noise, such as that produced by airplanes, traffic, or industrial machinery, is considered a form of pollution too. Noise pollution is at its worst in densely populated areas. Speaking about noise pollution I’d like to emphasize that this kind of pollution is very harmful to people, but at the same time it is so hidden, that we cannot notice it until it causes health problems. It can cause hearing loss, stress, high blood pressure, sleep loss, distraction, and lost productivity.

So, we can see that pollution exists in many forms and affects many different aspects of the earth’s environment. Pollution comes from specific, localized, and identifiable sources, such as sewage pipelines or industrial smokestacks. Pollution comes from dispersed or uncontained sources, such as contaminated water runoff from urban areas or automobile emissions. The effects of these pollutants may be immediate or delayed. Primary effects of pollution occur immediately after contamination occurs, such as the death of marine plants and wildlife after an oil spill at the sea. Secondary effects may be delayed or may persist in the environment into the future, perhaps going unnoticed for many years.

A product of so called “progress”, pollution of any kind has a dramatic effect on natural resources. Ecosystems such as forests, wetlands, coral reefs, and rivers perform many important services for the earth’s environment. They enhance water and air quality, provide habitat for plants and animals, and provide food and medicines. Any or all of these ecosystem functions may be impaired or destroyed by pollution. Moreover, because of the complex relationships among the many types of organisms and ecosystems, environmental contamination may have far-reaching consequences that are not immediately obvious or that are difficult to predict.

On the one hand, progress means pollution. On the other hand, progress often means life-saving and health for many people. For example, we know that agricultural chemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides are the main causes of water pollution. But thanks to them we can achieve a rich harvest. There is the only way to get a balance between harm to nature and our needs - we should find a new way to increase crop production by using inoffensive natural fertilizers. We also can use progress to clear up contaminated areas. We should use progress in the name of life; we should use it with great care not to hurt nature and not to hurt ourselves. Not to kill mankind.


Render the article in writing (pp. 270-271) (1 page)

The Ozone Hole Over the Earth is Expanding

 The article entitled “The ozone hole over the Earth is extending” is about a great problem of the present – the depletion of the ozone layer. The author is concerned about the worst suppositions that the Earth’s “ozone hole” is extending coming true.

The author’s anxiety is based on the following fact: specialists of the NASA say about the highest level of chemicals destroying ozone molecules in the upper layer of the atmosphere (the stratosphere). The ozone layer of the atmosphere protects life on the earth from the full force of the sun's cancer-causing ultraviolet radiation, it is critically important. Ozone in the stratosphere screens out much of the sun's ultraviolet radiation; the depletion of the ozone layer would permit more radiation to reach the earth, with disruptive ill effects on plants, animals, and the climate. Reduced ozone level will allow more UV radiation to reach the earth, especially in the southern hemisphere.

Scientists first discovered a hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica in 1985. Since then the ozone hole has been spread to densely populated regions of Europe, Asia and North America. Specialists of the U.N.O. (United Nations Organization) speak about a 5-10 percent reduction in stratospheric ozone to 2000. Destruction of the ozone layer causes increase in skin cancer, AIDS, viral diseases (here I strongly disagree with the author’s point of view; UV-radiation kills any kind of viruses, so it is used in medicine for disinfection) and cataracts. It may impede photosynthesis and damage certain crops and plankton and so on. The depletion of the ozone layer may have a dramatic effect on farming.

It is common knowledge that some chemicals (mostly so called chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs) - long used as refrigerants and as aerosol spray propellants - pose a great threat to the ozone layer. Released into the atmosphere, these chlorine-containing chemicals rise and are broken down by sunlight whereupon the chlorine reacts with and destroys ozone molecules. For this reason, in 1990 the use of CFCs in aerosols was banned in the United States and in other industrial countries (almost everywhere). But at the same time many scientists suppose that it is not enough to prohibit using Freon and other harmful gases; it is necessary to find an effective decision in a short space of time. Some scientists estimate that atmospheric CFC is expected to remain at high levels and ozone losses due to such substances will not begin to decline until the middle of the next century in spite of the fact that the using of Freon is prohibited.

This article was written in 1992. Since then harmful effects of using CFCs have been reduced. Nowadays we can see that the level of atmospheric ozone is about normal. Fortunately, scientific predictions turn to be a mistake.  But we should remember that using technical and scientific achievements without a complete analysis of their might-be negative results may cause disruptive effects to nature and human life.



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