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

2. In July, the surrounding mountains are almost

3. Major John Wesley Powell was the first to

4. Abbey has been promised by a Mormon woman that he

5. What reigns in the desert on this late-spring day is

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What influences Abbey's final decision to abandon his quest for Moon-Eye?

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

4. 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?

5. Why does Edward Abbey seemingly push the limits of safety by living in isolation and putting himself in dangerous situations?

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

7. Why do you think Abbey wants to own Moon-Eye?

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

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

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

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

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.

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay on your close reading of the section of the book where Abbey describes the noonday sun as if it were a drug-induced experience. Try to explain and expand on the description he has given, and consider why he describes it the way he does. Do you feel he was suffering from heat stroke? Do you think being alone might have caught up with him? Do you think he is afraid for his survival in this moment of extreme heat? What is the reality of this section, in your opinion?

(see the answer keys)

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