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. We learn that Abbey has a real dislike for

2. What were Husk and Graham hoping for?

3. What kind of tool can detect the presence of uranium?

4. Vernon Pick managed to sufficiently purify his water by

5. April mornings in the desert are

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What is one of the innate demands of industrial tourism?

3. What does Abbey suggest should be done about the erosion of national parks?

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

5. What advantages did the government's Atomic Energy Commission have in finding uranium? Are they portrayed as a benificent agency?

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

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

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

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

10. How seriously is Abbey taking this government job?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Abbey feels that cowboys and Indians primarily make a living these days by presenting their images to the curious in shows and mimicry of the old West. In a researched essay, determine the size of the population of cowboys in our country today. Were Scobie and Viviano part of a dying breed? How has the cowboy's lifestyle changed since Abbey's time? Do they still raise cattle in this part of the country? If possible, try to contact a cowboy who resides in the Moab area, and interview him or her about his daily routine and how modern technology has affected his work.

Essay Topic 3

Could you, and would you, volunteer for a job through the summer in the desert, knowing the harsh conditions? Why do you think Edward Abbey deliberately, and more than once, took the Park Ranger job for the summer, which was clearly an extreme challenge? Is he a little crazy, as he notes? What does the experience provide him with, if anything?

(see the answer keys)

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