Desert Solitaire Test | Final 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. What reigns in the desert on this late-spring day is

2. Beyond the timberline Abbey observes

3. On his trip to capture Moon-Eye, Abbey ate his lunch in the shade of

4. Moon-Eye rejected humans when he was subjected to

5. Abbey gets sidetracked to Havasu on his way to

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why was Abbey not interested in living with the Supai Havasu Indians?

3. What does Abbey say, indirectly, about change?

4. Do you think Abbey intended to risk his life by spending the entire day trying to entice Moon-Eye to come to him.

5. Abbey gives us two facts in the early part of this chapter that make it clear that this trip was taken in a decade long-past. What is it?

6. Try to explain Abbey's rambling about naming things.

7. Why do the men make jokes about the dead man?

8. What is the difference between Abbey's heat waves and a mirage?

9. 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?

10. If Abbey is somewhat indifferent to the death of a fellow human being, why would that be true?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

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 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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