In “Rivers of Death” Carson continues the onslaught of scientific facts which illustrate how pesticides and insecticides not only destroy the land but how they also contaminate water supplies, indirectly poisoning human beings.
As a writer there is always the temptation to be a cruel god over the imagined characters, typing down conflict after conflict without sympathy; there is also an even greater risk of loving the characters too much, coddling them as babes, and becoming benevolent creators over the fiction.
There can be no successful revelation of a reader’s mind merging with that of the author without a strong narrative voice. Without a proper voice, characters fall to one dimensional shades and plot unravels like yarn balls on the floor of the reader’s imagination.
The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949) by Joseph Campbell is the book that awakened in writers and storytellers in publishing and in screenwriting to the larger scope of mythology as metaphor and to the underlining structure of stories.
One of the last sections is “The Functioning of Myth” and Campbell goes into great deal to extrapolate the introductory section. “The ends for which men strive in the world,” writes Campbell, “are three — no more, no less; namely: love and pleasure (kāma), power and success (artha: pronounced ‘art-ha’), and lawful order and moral virtue (dharma).”