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‘The Sea Around Us’ by Rachel Carson Essay

I have read excerpts from two texts. An informational text titled ‘The Sea Around Us’ by Rachel Carson, and a literature text titled ‘Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea’, by Jules Verne. In both excerpts there are many descriptions of the ocean. Many people debate whether details are described more vividly in informational text, or in literature. I feel the ocean was described more vividly in the excerpt from the literature text ‘Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea’.

I believe the ocean is described more vividly in the excerpt from the story Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea because when I read it I feel like I’m there. The imagery is very strong and everything is described in such great detail. For example, when M. Aronnax was describing the coral kingdom in the ocean and said “I was tempted to gather their fresh petals, ornamented with delicate tentacles, some just blown, the others budding, while small fish, swimming swiftly, touched them slightly like flights of birds.” He described perfectly what the petals of the corals in the ocean looked like. He stated that some were blown and others weren’t. He also did this when explaining the effect the light of the lamps had on the ocean. He said “The light from our lamps produced sometimes magical effects, following the rough outlines of the natural arches, and pendants disposed like lusters, that were tipped with points of fire.” He even went as far as to describe the outlines of the natural arches of the coral.

The excerpt from the informational text The Sea Around Us focuses more on getting their information across to the readers rather than imagery. This is emphasized when the author was describing how ocean life grew more and more complex. He described how aggregations of specialized cells arose from simple one celled creatures. When describing this he stated “From simple, one celled creatures, others that were aggregations of specialized cells arose, and then creatures with organs for feeding, digesting, breathing, reproducing.” The author described more what the creatures organs were for, but gave no imagery. I felt this gave the readers more information, but not as much details left for our imagination. Overall I felt Jules Verne used a more vivid description when describing the ocean then Rachel Carson. When the author described all of the coral in the ocean he used amazing imagery.

I feel the author describes many details people would overlook when viewing coral. I also feel the author made very good comparisons when describing the ocean and the things in it. For example when M. Aronnax said “…while small fish, swimming swiftly, touched them slightly like flights of birds.” I felt he described very well what the small fish swimming by them looked like. I felt his comparison of the small fish swimming to a flight of birds really helped to emphasize how the fish looked while swimming. He also did this when describing how much coral was in the ocean. He said “Coral is sold for twenty pounds per ounce and in this place the water beds would make the fortunes of a company of coral divers.” He used the face that coral is sold for twenty pounds for ounce to emphasize how much coral was in the sea.

I also liked the comparison he made between the tips of the coral and the “points of fire”. I feel the author used very good comparisons to enable the readers to visualize and get a clearer picture of his descriptions of underneath the ocean. In the excerpt from the informational text The Sea Around Us I felt the author didn’t use very good comparisons when describing the ocean. When describing the mysterious borderline forms the author said they were “not quite plans, not quite animals” I felt the author did very poor in describing this. The description was way too general.

Some may feel that Rachel Carson described the ocean more in her text The Sea Around Us. When describing the sponges growing on the bottom of the ocean. She said “Sponges grew on the rocky bottom of the sea’s edge and coral animals built their habitations in warm, clear waters.” She did describe the temperature of the water but it was a very broad description. She only described the ocean as being warm and clear. I feel she could have used more detail when describing it. She also could have described the bottom of the sea as more than just rocky. She could have described the outlines and arches of it as Jules Verne did when describing the coral. Jules Verne placed more work in using visual details to describe the ocean than Rachel Carson did.

I understand some people may feel many different ways about the way each author described the ocean in their texts. However, the comparisons, visual details, and imagery Jules Verne used to describe the ocean on her text help give readers a clearer visualization of the ocean than Rachel Carson. Yes, Rachel Carson got information across to her readers, but she did not do such a great job when getting the image of the ocean across to the readers. It is evident that Jules Verne did a better job a describing the ocean in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea than Rachel Carson in The Sea Around Us.

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