Desert Solitaire Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Viviano Jacquez' nationality is

2. Abbey describes the voice of the desert

3. To spend time outside the trailer, Abbey builds

4. Edward Abbey lies like a snake on the edge of a dune to

5. Who comes out ahead in Abbey's story about Husk and Graham?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is an example of the primitive attitudes of Native Americans, as expressed by Abbey?

2. What are the two wild animals that Abbey has never seen in the Southwest?

3. Abbey describes areas where one can find artifacts from Native Americans in the form of arrowheads and spearheads, made from obsidian. There is a law that prohibits removing stones from the national park. Do you think these artifacts can still be found in the "shady alcoves under canyon walls" in the Arches?

4. Abbey seems to jump back and forth in time in his book. Where in this chapter does that first become obvious?

5. Is Abbey's story of Husk and Graham a fact-checked, absolutely correct retelling?

6. For what does the author seem to be searching by taking this job?

7. Explain Abbey's description of the life cycle of the spadefoot toad.

8. How seriously is Abbey taking this government job?

9. Abbey mentions that both men he meets are married and have children. Can we assume Abbey is neither? Why or why not?

10. Discuss how different the daily life of an pre-Columbian Native American was, as compared to the daily life of an American now.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

As a tourist, one might have found Abbey to be mysterious. Although he had a great sense of humor with the tourists, he is clearly shrouding feelings that they don't know about, opinions that come through in his humorous sarcasm. In the Episodes and Visions chapter, do a close reading of Abbey's conversations and private thoughts, and analyze what you feel he wished he could say to them, instead of what he did say.

Essay Topic 2

Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire is not simply a story of his stay in the desert, but is a narrative of his experiences and feelings about the land as he learns its peculiarities and the nature of the desert. What, however, is the main thrust of Abbey's message? What does he want us to think about after having read about all of the aspects of the Arches and the surrounding land? Does Abbey's story have an ulterior motive?

Essay Topic 3

What do you think Abbey's general attitude is toward his fellow human beings? His cynicism is obvious, however, are we able to see a softer side of Abbey when it comes to people? If so, explain and describe it. What emotions is Abbey capable of feeling in this environment?

(see the answer keys)

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