Desert Solitaire

Desert Solitaire




1. Abbey’s concepts of wilderness, culture, and civilization



Wild, and chaotic


A place to escape

Completes civilizations



Destroys the wild

Houses the masses

Corrupt and greedy



Brings about conformity

Can exist without civilization

The system

Procedures and facts rationality


Are countires cultures? Consider the concept of nation-state

Does civilization protect the wilderness as Abbey believes?

Are Abbey’s statements viable?


2. Human Presence in the SouthWest


Industrial Tourism

Pollution, littering, and crowds

Increase in population

Land development


3. Prehuman culture of the SouthWest


Rock art, trails, pueblos from anicient cultures still in tact in the southwest, used and flourished on the land.

Pictographs, petroglyphs, pueblos, people lived in the wilderness withouth modern days shit.


4. Water resources and the Colorado river.


Diminishing water table, more water being used in the reservoirs than the Colorado river can supply

Without water one can not survive in the desert


5. Uranium mining


Created greed, corruption, and materialim


6. Mormons


Utah is mormon country and they created a commune and culture among the wilderness centralized around their church


The idea of Sublime


Lost in the desert, just you with the wilderness with bare necessities to survive, amazing experience but face death, true sublime experience.


“The desert lies beneath and soars beyond and possible human qualification, therefore, sublime.” P224


“I am twenty miles or more from the nearest fellow human, but instead of lonliness I feel lovliness.” P16





There are time when creation can be achieved only through destruction. The urge to destroy is then a creative urge. P202


…Nature’s polluted; There’s man in every secret corner of her; Doing dammed, wicked deeds. P206



Questions about the Abbey Reading



1.How would one desribe Edward Abbey, and how does the book describe wilderness?

2. Does modern machinery and technology bring humans closer or more distant from wilderness?

3. What are the effects of industrial tourism on national parks?

4. What is valued more time or space?

5. The idea of Solipism and is it true?

6. Will Arches, as a national park and wilderness be the same when Abbey returns.

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