The part about this book that stood out to me the most was definitely Abbey’s love for animals. This was something I immediately connected with because I too love animals. The interesting part to me though was his love for them being wild, I do not know if I can say I would be as open to wild animals as he is in the book. I think that is a very admirable trait. One thing that I would not be able to do though is kill animals myself for food, now I understand he needs to survive, but why would he choose this wilderness where tree and plant growth is sparce and there is a need to rely on animals for food. Now, I am no vegitarian and maybe it comes with time, but to have someone with such a passion and love for the protection of animals then also killing animals for food was very conflicting for me. I wonder why the author emphasizes this protection so much and then at the same time has to deal with the fact that he must kill animals in order to give himself food to survive. Was it intentional on the part of the author to create such a conflict? I did appreciate the part with the rattle snake because it was very brave the way Abbey did not just immediately kill it. I can not even imagine how I would have reacted to a snake and I consider myself to be pretty tolerant of animals lives. Ever since I was little I have had a house on Block Island (which is a tiny island off the coast of RI) and there is a big pond in my backyard so my mom has raised me to be an island girl and not to scream when there are spiders or frogs or other little creatures in our basement and I just trap them in my hand and then go release them outside. Those experiences I had as a child definitely helped me be more appreciative of Abbey.
Another part that I questioned some was the way Abbey thought of humans. Myabe I am unfamiliar with how the job typically works, but my impression of a park ranger is that they are not only there to maintain and care for the park, but also to aid in helping others who may be visiting the park. Why does Abbey talk down upon the humans who are treading and destroying his park as if he does not do the same when he is off work and wandering around the wilderness? He acts almost as if he is not a human creating damage as well. Also, the job of the park ranger I would think would be to support the park and that involves promoting it to tourists because that is the only way there will be funds enough to take care of the park. I really admired the image he depicted of the solitude that can come from being alone on such a large piece of land with no other humans around.
I do not know if there are other editions of this book, but I borrowed mine from the library and it is a hardcover version that was published in 1988 I believe. It has some really nice hand drawn pictures of the desert and I just thought that was a really cool addition to the book because I have never been to a place even remotely like Abbey discussed so I liked being able to have those pictures as I was reading along.
I also thought this picture of the desert at night was really cool because it is often times at night when people being to feel the most like they are alone.