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. Indian artifacts in the national forest are

2. What is Abbey saying about the area in the Graham and Husk story?

3. Roy Scobie is a rancher obsessed with

4. Edward is able to hear, but not see

5. To spend time outside the trailer, Abbey builds

Short Essay Questions

1. How does the author project his own sensibilities onto the doves that he hears calling? Why?

2. What concession does Abbey make to man's ingenuity when it comes to life in the desert?

3. Explain why Abbey prefers not to use a flashlight in the dark.

4. How does Edward Abbey seem "polemic" in his views about national parks?

5. What does Abbey mean by "pox vobiscum," and "swinish politics?"

6. What is Viviano Jacquez's problem?

7. Discuss Abbey's relationship with the natural world as he watches the stars.

8. For what does the author seem to be searching by taking this 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. What is an example of the primitive attitudes of Native Americans, as expressed by Abbey?

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

The story of Moon-Eye reveals Abbey's compassion for animals. Write a researched essay about animal abuse in our country, and include detailed information on such groups as PETA and the SPCA, who try to protect animals from humans who neglect or abuse them. In your essay, explain your position regarding the ethical treatment of animals.

Essay Topic 3

Choose ten plants or bushes that Abbey describes in this book, and do more intensive study on the flora of the desert by researching these particular plant species. Why does each thrive in the desert, what are their built-in defense systems, what seasons do they bloom or go to seed, how does each reproduce, and what intrinsic values do they possess in terms of beauty, sustenance for other living things, medicinal properties, shade, etc. Try to locate visual images of the plants to add to your essay.

(see the answer keys)

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