How Sane are We? - Four Levels | The Flax-Golden Tales

Anuradha Chaudhary, Bangladesh(1947)

How Sane are We? - Four Levels | The Flax-Golden Tales

How Sane are We?

Literal Comprehension: This essay by Bangladeshi writer, Anuradha Chaudhary, focuses on the consciousness of the environment and need of its conservation. As we are responsible for destroying nature its conservation is also our responsibility. We should not destroy anything in nature, they are not only for us; they are the gifts handed over to give or hand over our many generations. But there is vast destruction of nature in the world but less effort for saving and conserving nature. We think ecology and politics are closely linked although many people do not see any link between them. As elections are held to select our representatives, the representatives, whom we trust best, become ministers. So we easily think that they make only good decisions always for all but our representatives or ministers are wrong; they do just opposite; they think only their benefit, chair, party, and vote. Many people think that political leaders are trustworthy so, who trust them cannot believe that they are irresponsible towards nature.

Chlorofluorocarbons(CFC) are man-made chemicals. They cause 20% of the greenhouse effect. They cause to deplete the ozone layer which is like a shield around the earth. This absorbs 99% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays. If the rays reach the earth, they will affect the ecosystem, decrease agricultural productivity, weaken the human immune system, cause skin cancer and eye cataracts. In 1920 CFCs were first made to use in refrigerators, spray cans, computer chips, air-conditioners, etc. In 1974, the world’s scientists disclosed the fact that there is a link between CFCs and the ozone layer, but nations and CFCs producers turned deaf ears towards the warning. Only in 1985, it was believed that there is a link between CFCs and the ozone layer. Then the world’s nations signed a document to stop CFCs productivity by 2006.

The decision of phasing out CFCs globally is a rational decision but the writer does not think they are honest to the decision. They could stop the use of CFCs immediately and use cheaper and harmless chemicals to substitute CFCs. But their decisions lack implementation. By allowing people to use CFCs for some more times, we are causing destruction to ourselves. Here the writer relates the science fiction “War with the Newts” by Karel Capek. Where the newts are exceptionally clever water animals which could give men pearls. Men gave them knives to keep themselves safe from sharks. Their number increased so largely that they even went to the country to live and endangered the existence of human beings. Like the newts, we are destroying our own dwelling and worsening our environment and air.

Interpretation: We human being is considered the supreme creature of all the other many creatures in the world; we think ourselves wise, witty, clever, intelligent, enthusiastic and responsible creature. But, we are so sane that we destroy our own home and ourselves not only other creatures. We think only inheritance of the natural things here and do whatever thing we like. The essay also implies that human cannot make rational decisions. Neither general people choose rational political leaders as their representatives nor do the elected representatives make the right decisions in time. Moreover, they are not honest too. They are only worried about the next election but not about the future of people and other creatures. They know that CFCs are depleting the ozone layer but are not doing anything to stop the use of this harmful chemical. They make decisions but have no courage and take no initiation of implementation. Thus, we are spoiling environment by electing such leaders and they are spoiling the future of mankind.

Critical thinking: This essay is mainly focused on environmental degradation and the importance of its conservation. In this essay, the writer criticizes the governments, politicians and factory owners who use harmful chemicals like chlorofluorocarbons. She gives emphasis on its conservation because we are responsible for its destruction. She criticizes sharply to the leaders and the people who elect such leaders but she does not think the scientists should also be equally careful about the harmful effects of the chemical. Not only leaders and scientists all we are equally responsible for this problem and should be careful about its solution.

Assimilation: Reading literary tests is very beneficial. Literature gives not only pleasure or entertainment but a vast knowledge of different fields. As I read this essay, I got a lot of information from this essay. I knew about the ozone layer and its usefulness. I also knew the bad sides of air conditioners and refrigerators. Before this I was careless of these things; I would not feel anything while using AC and fridge, but now I feel I am guilty of polluted nature when I use these appliances. I have seen many people suffering from skin cancer, respiratory problems, and other many diseases. This might have been caused by the ultraviolet rays of the sun and the depleted ozone layer. Now I will try to convince all my relatives and families about these problems.

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