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. The desert winds of May have

2. Abbey and Newcomb are in denial about the

3. We can assume that Abbey decides to set off to the mountains

4. To make it easier to maneuver the rubber raft, Abbey

5. Floating through the rapids leaves the two boaters

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How does Abbey feel about leaving the desert and returning to the city?

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

4. The poet to whom Abbey refers in this chapter when he says, "It was all foreseen a half century ago," is Robinson Jeffers, and his poem is entitled "Broken Balance." Why does Abbey not provide the reader with that information, when he has so adamantly laid out his reasoning and feelings for us in the previous paragraphs?

5. Why does Abbey refer to himself as a true patriot?

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

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

8. Why does Abbey prefer the desert to other environments?

9. Where is the heart of the desert, according to Abbey?

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

Edward Abbey is a reporter and narrator, explaining what he sees, hears, feels and experiences. However, he does not necessarily let the reader into his heart and soul regarding his personal life. He chooses this reclusive job, and makes journeys into wilderness areas where there are no people. Is Abbey a recluse by nature? Why does he seem to prefer this solitude? Are there hints in the story about his personal life? If so, describe and interpret them.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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