Write a short Summary of Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness.

Ask a QuestionCategory: Prose QuestionWrite a short Summary of Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness.
Mohammad Afzalsmartenglishnotes Staff asked 7 months ago

Write a short Summary of Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness.

1 Answers
Mohammad Afzalsmartenglishnotes Staff answered 7 months ago
Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness is a masterpiece of non-fiction by American writer Edward Abbey, originally published in 1968. Abbey uses this book as a platform not only to make observations about the geography, fauna and flora of Utah but as a place to vent his spleen at the destruction of the natural world and the dehumanizing nature of our society. The book is also filled with humour, pathos, and great sensitivity. His prose is elastic, conversational at some points, poetic and profound at others.
 
A Season in the Wilderness by Edward Abbey has a much-deserved reputation of being one of the finest book written about the American West. Abbey spent time as a park ranger in Arches National Park in the late 60s, and in the process, travelled all around southern Utah and northern Arizona. This book is the outcome of that stay, yet it is so much more.
 
Desert Solitaire is a masterpiece of non-fiction. Abbey moves from topic to topic with ease. Each piece stands alone, but they are interconnected. In a relatively short amount of space, he writes strongly and convincingly about a host of topics. For this skill, we can forgive him for his obvious misanthropy. He hates everyone.
 
 By opening sentence of the text proper:  “This is the most beautiful place on earth.” he means the canyon-lands near  Moab,  Utah,  where he worked as a seasonal park ranger for a  couple of years in the late  1950s.  Similar to most of the naturalists whose writing we meet in this series,  Abbey celebrates the flora and fauna he encounters in the desert, but he is probably the most openly political in his message, lashing out in a chapter he calls a  “polemic”  against the dangers of  Industrial  Tourism and the  “earnest engineers”  who support construction and development as “intrinsic goods,”  even in national parks. “No more new roads in national parks,”  Abbey bluntly asserts.  He comments  on the  uranium  boom,  on “cowboys  and  Indians,”  and  in  the  chapter  entitled “Water”  he reminds  us  of  Wallace  Stegner’s  frequently  quote remark  that  “Aridity,  more than anything  else, gives  the  western landscape  its  character.”  The  city, Abbey  warns, “can be  made  to  function  as  a  concentration  camp. At  times  angry  and  at  times passionate,  Abbey  dashes back  and forth  between  diatribe  and poetry.  Wilderness, he insists, “is  not  a  luxury  but  a  necessity  of  the  human spirit, and  as  vital  to  our  lives  as water  and good bread”  (169).  In  the  longest  chapter  Abbey  joins a  friend in  an excursion down the  Colorado  River,  a  place  he  senses  is  “doomed.”  Accused  by  one visitor of  being  opposed  to  civilization  and  humanity,  Abbey  writes,  “Naturally  I  was flattered.”  Renowned  naturalist  Edwin  Way  Teale,  in  a  review  for the  New  York  Times, admired the  philosophy  and humour of the  book,  which  he  described as “passionately felt” and  “deeply  poetic.”   
 

x