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. Edward Abbey filled his canteen in the Needles country

2. Edward is able to hear, but not see

3. Besides money, a reason for developing the parks is

4. West of the Mississippi, Abbey says the cult of "cowboyism" is growing as fast as

5. Visiting Moab on Wednesdays, Edward Abbey deduces that the men in the beer joints have been

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Abbey mentions thinking the unthinkable as he drives through the desert past the Arches headquarters. To what is he referring?

3. How were the Park Service rules ambiguous as they were written in 1916?

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

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

6. Of what is Abbey reminded as he lay naked on top of Tukuhnikivats?

7. How seriously is Abbey taking this government job?

8. Why does Abbey persist in pursuing Moon-Eye when the heat and conditions have become quite uncomfortable for him?

9. Explain why many of the petroglyphs are found in caves too high for us to reach.

10. What are a few good words that would describe Abbey's impression of the desert at this time of year, and at noon? Is there any other place, time, state of mind or being, to which this same set of words also applies?

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

In his chapter on exploring the "maze," Abbey encourages his friend, Bob Waterman, to hide from the draft board out in this country where no other human resides. Why is it ironic, or not, that this particular interaction takes place in the maze? Do a close reading of this chapter and determine whether Abbey has layered it with additional meaning and symbolism, and provide examples. Is Abbey a true patriot, as he claims?

Essay Topic 3

Abbey and his friend, Newcomb, enjoy an incredible rafting trip down the Colorado River, separating themselves from humanity in general. Discuss in a detailed essay Abbey's mixed feelings of revulsion and delight about the human race. How does this trip down the river bring things into focus for him? Since he is a human himself, does he simply feel superior to most people, or are his objections more theoretical? Is the trip down the river a statement of some kind - does it hold a deeper meaning?

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