Desert Solitaire-Kylie Shaw

  1. During the snake scene, towards the beginning, Abbey said that he would rather kill a man than a snake.  I was wondering how literal we could take this since he then killed the snake after only seeing it twice.  Would he have killed a man if he had trespassed more than once? And why would he rather kill a man than a snake?  If both the man and the snake are dangerous, then one shouldn’t be worse than the other right?  I think I understand the feeling behind this statement, but not the logic.
  2. When Abbey is discussing how parks can be saved by taking out the cars and roads and making everyone walk everywhere, he made the comment that he would rather have a giant parking lot right outside the park rather than a few smaller ones inside.  I’ve been to Arches National Park and this comment is actually insulting to the rest of the area.  Arches National Park and the area right outside Arches National Park look exactly the same.  The perimeter of the park seems pretty arbitrary, but somehow Abbey deigns all of the area inside the park as more important than outside the park.  This kind of thinking takes away the beauty and nature that can be found outside national parks.  Is Abbey right to say that the insides of the national parks are more sacred than anywhere else?
  3. Is Abbey justified in getting angry at people for apparently not appreciating the area exactly like he does?  Should the national parks be saved for the worthy, as they are defined by Abbey?  Also, some of Abbey’s complaints seem pretty hypocritical considering he has a truck and a trailer with a generator and a fridge.  He thinks the park should only be appreciated by walking and camping even though he does not do these things.  Also, I’m not sure how much the park had changed between the time this book was written and when I visited, but much of the park isn’t accessible by car and does require quite a but of walking.

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