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. Abbey feels the only real paradise is

2. Fred Burkett's favorite hiding place to watch for speeders was

3. In the middle of the day on the desert, most of the birds

4. Beyond the timberline Abbey observes

5. Floating through the rapids leaves the two boaters

Short Essay Questions

1. Do Abbey and Newcomb enjoy the "rapids" they encounter?

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

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

4. The trip down the Colorado for Abbey and Newcomb is blissful and idyllic. What, if any, is the dark side of this story?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Consider the time(s) in history that this book was written. By the time of the last printing of this story, what had happened that had exposed, particularly to Americans, the true nature of the rat race we had created? Would this book have been more important if it had been written during another era? Would it have been given more attention by reviewers and critics if it had been written in this decade? Be sure to read Abbey's Preface to learn about how the book was received.

Essay Topic 2

In his chapter on exploring the "maze," Abbey encourages his friend, Bob Waterman, to hide from the draft board out in this country where no other human resides. Why is it ironic, or not, that this particular interaction takes place in the maze? Do a close reading of this chapter and determine whether Abbey has layered it with additional meaning and symbolism, and provide examples. Is Abbey a true patriot, as he claims?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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