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. Any cow found without a brand

2. When a person is in the desert long enough he learns to

3. Abbey suggests that former cowboys, like Indians, may be

4. Water has not created the arches, but they are instead carved by

5. Abbey describes the scene he observes as

Short Essay Questions

1. It is interesting that Abbey wants to "own" all of the grandeur he sees around him. What does this feeling actually mean in this context?

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

3. Why was Turnbow Cabin built?

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

5. 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?

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

7. Explain Abbey's vague contempt for human beings that emerges in this chapter.

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write a researched essay on the current state of the Arches. Has it been mined, drilled, dammed and cemented over, as Abbey dreaded and anticipated? Research, describe and evaluate the changes, and determine whether you feel they have improved the park. Explain your position.

Essay Topic 2

Edward Abbey goes into great detail in his story about Husk and Graham and the search for uranium. Why would he embellish this story so much, given that it was simply a legend in the area and he could not possibly have known such detail? What is the point of drawing the reader along through this story? Is there some hint that he provides that tells us who the real villain is? Do a detailed reading and write about Abbey's literary license in turning this into a detailed tale, and describe what effect he is attempting to create with it. What devices does he use within his story of Husk and Graham for irony?

Essay Topic 3

There are hundreds of geographical features mentioned in Desert Solitaire. Make a table and list of all of the geographical features, look up their meanings and descriptions, and add images, if possible. Provide copies of your material to the class for reference as they read Desert Solitaire.

(see the answer keys)

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