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 often mentions tamarisks. A tamarisk is a

2. Abbey describes the experience of noontime in the desert like

3. The man who has initiated the search is the deceased man's

4. Edward Abbey and Johnny try to

5. Under Abbey's ramada on a sunny day the temperature of 110 degrees is

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Desert Solitaire was first written in 1956, and reprinted several times after that. Abbey obviously added some text over time. Do a close reading of the section where Abbey describes the experience of noontime in the desert as a psychedelic experience. Are you able to "feel" and understand what he is trying to say? Is he, perhaps, suffering from heat stroke at that time, or is he disoriented. Discuss in your essay the kinds of literary tools Abbey uses to help us experience his story.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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