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. On the second day of their journey, Abbey is

2. Abbey feels the only real paradise is

3. All creatures in the desert at this time of year

4. Abbey often mentions tamarisks. A tamarisk is a

5. Abbey suggests to Waterman that, perhaps, like a German poet, we humans

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 does Abbey refer to himself as a true patriot?

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

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

5. Do you think Edward Abbey is a fanatic? Is his fear of a future dictatorial regime unfounded?

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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

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.

(see the answer keys)

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