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George Black’s “The Trout Pool Paradox” sample essay

It’s hard to imagine that three rivers, running so purely for so many years could contribute to a damaged environment. The rivers were created by nature and there was nothing harmful about them. They only added beauty to their surroundings and who would have ever thought that such beautiful rivers could lend aid to the destruction of the environment? Several people of an older age were asked about the rives effectiveness, now, versus what they used to be and it would quite clear that industry has put a huge damage on our society.

Less than two hours from New York, the two Connecticut rivers run in parallel valleys only a few miles apart and they have charted the course of American, environmental, industrial, and our social history and they do have very different results as George Black explains.

The Housatonic, The Naugatuck and the Shepaug flow parallel to one another and they are a short distance apart; only a few mile separates the rivers. There are so many similarities connects these rivers. Very fast waters and rock filled, these rivers are surrounded by farmland that is extremely prone to flooding. The town was a great place to start a mill, which could easily turn a small, quiet town into a new revolutionized, booming factory town. Because, one river only was used, the Naugatuck, it became the brass and rubber world capital for the industry. The Shepaug, ended up being a rural idyll.

The main town of Waterbury, one of the towns and it was even named in (Money Magazine as the most unlivable city in America.) Reference Money Magazine, where the two valleys became polar opposites. The main town on the Shepaug is Washington, and it has become a terribly expensive get away for people on weekends for a vast amount of the higher classed people of New York.

George Black made a great attempt to study and explain the “trout pool paradox” and how these rivers became the focus of an environmentally harmful industry. George Black looks into the history of these three rivers and talks about the effect that the factories, from the Industrial Revolution affected the people who live near these rivers, and the population who fish, live and spend so much of their time fighting and working to protect the Housatonic and its tributaries, recently.

A hundred years ago the idea of the environment being in jeopardy was never even fathomed. It was assumed by the people of Connecticut that their way of life would continue, without interruption. They never imagined that the huge factories that were fed by a waterway could have such a great impact on society. If they could have foreseen the future, I’m sure something would have been done to discourage the development of the water powered mills that would operate the factories that contributed to the deterioration of the environment.

Man directly had a bad impact on the environment by building the factories and destroying the pureness of the rivers that were written about by George Black. He could see that society was directly impacted upon by the dangerous smoke and chemical hazards that were so worried about by him. He was attempting to study and in by writing about the three rivers in “The Trout Pool Paradox,” to unveil the dangerous hazards that were brought on my society’s incredible desire to make more money and revolutionize the town in Connecticut.

George Black says that it is important that we realize that we have come so far in realizing how everyone needs to be aware of steps we each must take to secure that are environment is being tended to and that we are aware of the hazards that the Industrial Revolution have brought upon our land and waters. He seems generally sincere in the aspect that he cares about our ecosystem.

In the last thirty or more years, great attempts have been displayed with concerned people who fight for the ecosystem and spend much of their time being sure that the hazardous pollutants are being directly made known to the public and George Black is one of these concerned individuals who spent time to give his thoughts on the crumbling of the ecosystem by writing “The Trout Pool Paradox.” He made us look at these rivers and the town in Connecticut and how they remained untouched since the beginning of their existence, and I think it hurt him to see the direct harm that was cast upon these.

The people of America must come together as a team, each agreeing that it takes an entire society of people working together and expressing their concerns about our stream, rivers and towns. We do have the power as a whole to speak about the dangers that are being forced upon our environment. If we work together and have meetings and television and radio time to discuss the environment and bring so much more awareness to the idea of protecting our ecosystem. If we really believe that we have the power to turn things around, I do believe that we can.

It only takes a few people to get things started. We can each do our part by speaking up and voicing our opinions. We can demand that hazardous factories be shut down and replaced by more economically friendly ran factories.

George Black delved into the thoughts of the public of the two communities that were two competing political cultures, and who were generally having a battle with each other over the meaning of running water. George Black found that each community, each with their own ideas about the way things should be. He searched into the question of what was the motives and how deep did their feeling run, concerning their environment.

He realized how differently the two cultures had expressed their perception of what was going on around them. He realized that each had different views, and thought it to be incredible that their views could be so different. He felt after speaking to the people of the areas, that their stories needed to be told and felt that it was important to share his discoveries of the variance in opinions with the public.

I realize after gathering information that it was important for George Black to fish in the Shepaug watershed which is the main ideal of the trout stream. It is terrible that only miles away, the Naugatuck is nothing more than a “chemical sewer” and it even catches on fire, sometimes and it must have been terribly devastating for the community who had once know the river and loved the river for it’s clean flowing water and it’s popularity for fishing.

I don’t think any amount of money in the world is worth wasting a perfectly good river. There could and should have been a better idea than just destroying our environments and communities because of greed. The people who built and ran the factories in Connecticut should have take more time and should have performed in-depth studies before they so carelessly and directly aided in the destruction of our environment.

It isn’t too late to try to save our ecosystem. Even though so much harm has already been done to our rivers, we can still set forth actions by showing our concern for our environment. We can write to our Congress people. We can voice our opinion, just as George Black did.

When you view the Shepaug and the Naugatuck, you can’t really just see, with your eyes, their radically different evolution. The main important idea is to understand and to try to talk about how the currents of our natural history and our social history are connected. We must look at how each of these waterways and ask ourselves, “How are they intertwined and how do they influence each other in various ways.

A great Revolutionary Revolution, or reindustrialization, does not run uniformly through an area in a community just like New England, one river valley and then the next. There are so many social issues and changes brought on by the rivers but it is evident that the social issues are the ones that are most important. Events in history have altered life, as we know it, and have made huge impacts on the way we look at these two intertwined rivers. Sometimes our natural history can be changed by a single natural disaster but the idea that one river can be untouched and the other so close to it can completely be destroyed is unthinkable!

In the Housatonic Valley, it is evident that the course of history has been altered to a great degree. The leaders of the Waterbury brass industry were able to devastate the Naugatuck Valley due to the fact that there was no effective checks on their power. This neglect has had an impact, as well.

The Shephaug continues to flow seemingly untouched, offering some of the best fishing in the country (Houghton Mifflin, April),“The Trout Pool Paradox” can be used as a way of exploring four hundred years of our history in America. You could point out different communities in America who have directly been affected by pollutants, and if they were written about and pointed out by other writers, as well as George Black, America could be a safer place to live in and their streams and rivers could be saved.

Who knows how many rivers may be under great threat right now, and how one person could write a story such as “The Trout Pool Paradox” and bring immediate attention to the hazard that a beautiful river or stream might be threatened by. Just by George Black’s thoughts on the destruction of our environment gives me great appreciation for his concern about our natural surroundings and it gives me a sense of responsibility to my community and to all of American rivers, streams, ponds and lakes.


George Black, The Trout Pool Paradox

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