The Monkey Wrench Gang Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. How did Edward Abbey become interested in the environment?

In 1944, at the age of seventeen, Abbey hitchhiked from his home in Pennsylvania to Seattle. His experiences in the Southwest developed his strong beliefs against strip miners, logging companies, power plants, oil companies, and other forms of big business or industry that harmed the environment.

2. Why did the FBI investigate Abbey?

Abbey's activities led the FBI to investigate him as a Communist and terrorist for the next thirty-seven years. Some critics claim he wrote THE MONKEY WRENCH GANG as a bible for eco-terrorism.

3. What were Abbey's links to environmental groups?

Abbey admitted he wanted to see the Glen Canyon Dam destroyed, but claimed his novels were written to amuse and enlighten people about ecology. However, one group of environmentalists took the novel seriously and the leader of that group was the inspiration for the character Hayduke. Though Abbey denied any direct involvement in the group, he befriended several of its members.

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