Desert Solitaire Themes

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Natural Beauty

The author describes the natural beauty of the desert as can only be experienced through living there over an extended period and observing closely on foot or from the back of a horse. Most visitors to the desert miss the details and consider it a barren wasteland, worthless and without merit. Abbey's sharp and poetic descriptions bring the reader as close as possible without actually being there.

The beauty has two sides. One is calm and serene, blissful over time. The other is unforgiving and suddenly violent, as when a flash flood destroys all in its path without pity or remorse. The sun blazes, ready to take unaware life, such as the sixty-year-old man who becomes lost and dies beneath a tree. Ground water may be poisonous and a misplaced step can lead to a short fall into oblivion. However, the beauty intensifies from the danger it...

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This section contains 1,299 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Desert Solitaire Study Guide
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