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. When Abbey gets a call to help with a search, he assumes

2. Abbey is convinced that horses are

3. Abbey's concerns about preserving wilderness in this chapter are connected with

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

5. Abbey's campsite is

Short Essay Questions

1. Why do the men make jokes about the dead man?

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

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

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

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

6. 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?

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

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

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

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

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

Choose ten plants or bushes that Abbey describes in this book, and do more intensive study on the flora of the desert by researching these particular plant species. Why does each thrive in the desert, what are their built-in defense systems, what seasons do they bloom or go to seed, how does each reproduce, and what intrinsic values do they possess in terms of beauty, sustenance for other living things, medicinal properties, shade, etc. Try to locate visual images of the plants to add to your essay.

Essay Topic 3

The man-made lakes that have been developed by the federal government in the Arches parks are named after men who personally experienced those areas. Research and write about the two men after whom the major lakes have been named, and their contributions to the area. Do you feel their contributions are congruent with the projects that have been named in their honor? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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