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. The heat of the desert makes objects appear

2. The character Mackie is

3. Abbey's reaction to the man's manner of death is one of

4. The Havsupai are by nature

5. A large influx of tourists to the park is marked by

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

6. Abbey mentions thinking the unthinkable as he drives through the desert past the Arches headquarters. To what is he referring?

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire is not simply a story of his stay in the desert, but is a narrative of his experiences and feelings about the land as he learns its peculiarities and the nature of the desert. What, however, is the main thrust of Abbey's message? What does he want us to think about after having read about all of the aspects of the Arches and the surrounding land? Does Abbey's story have an ulterior motive?

Essay Topic 3

Is Edward Abbey depressed? His inability to stop or shift the tides of progress comes through in his writing. Is he hopeful, or has he given up on the human race altogether? Explain your impressions, and provide examples.

(see the answer keys)

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