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. All creatures in the desert at this time of year

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

3. Abbey and Newcomb are in denial about the

4. Abbey admits that he, too, is a member of

5. Abbey tries to convince Moon-Eye to come with by telling him a story about

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

7. The poet to whom Abbey refers in this chapter when he says, "It was all foreseen a half century ago," is Robinson Jeffers, and his poem is entitled "Broken Balance." Why does Abbey not provide the reader with that information, when he has so adamantly laid out his reasoning and feelings for us in the previous paragraphs?

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

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

10. 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?

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

What do you think Abbey's general attitude is toward his fellow human beings? His cynicism is obvious, however, are we able to see a softer side of Abbey when it comes to people? If so, explain and describe it. What emotions is Abbey capable of feeling in this environment?

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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