Desert Solitaire Wildland Recreation As Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

In many ways, the Vietnam War represented the height of Cold War tensions in much the same way that the decade was giving way to an inevitable breaking point in environmental negligence. Though the years which would follow would see a gradual intensification of environmental protection laws, these have by and large been nullified by the impact of that for which Abbey offers the most criticism. With both Vietnam and the destruction of many of America's richest points of flora and fauna diversity being the products of our ongoing 'evolution' toward technological, industrial and commercial advance, Abbey is persuasive in drawing a sympathetic mistrust of modernity from the reader. Ultimately, it produces a sense of loss for Wildland Recreation opportunities while simultaneously reinforcing the primal importance of such experiences.

In this way, Desert Solitaire stands in 20th century environmental history as a guide to alternative living. While he is unflinching about the hardships of life in the cold mountains and perilous deserts of the American wilderness, Abbey implicitly suggests throughout his journal that Americans do have the free will to simplify their lives at least temporarily through interaction and communion with the Wildland. Modernity being a euphemistic term, in his perspective, for materialism, Abbey offers the idea, through his experience, that one may serve himself best to commune with America's nature rather than
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its marketplace. Or more simply, he seems to suggest that a personal dependency on purchasing power and the allure of luxury items may not be necessary to reflect one's Americanism. Within the discussion of environmental history, the ramifications of such a suggestion are a theoretical blueprint for the utilitarian self-sufficiency which may be requisite for survival in the coming energy crisis which the author touches upon.

In his description of the desert, Abbey reinforces the boldness and vitality of making such lifestyle changes. Speaking of his surrounding at night, he notes "a few flies, the fluttering leaves, the trickle of water give a fine edge and scoring to the deep background of - silence? No - of stillness, peace....Like death? Perhaps. And perhaps that is why life nowhere appears so brave, so bright, so full of oracle and miracle as in the desert " (Abbey, 259-60) Here, he challenges conventional senses regarding the vibrancy of the American way of life in modernity as opposed to in its pioneering history. Abbey's sentiment is one that resonates with the reader, extending the notion that the hue of man's life is dimmed without the colorful coronations of nature.

Works Cited

Abbey, Edward. (1968). Desert Solitaire. McGraw-Hill Group.

Duryee, Kent. (1996). Edward Abbey: A Man Hard to Talk About. Desert USA. Online at http://www.desertusa.com/mag00/nov/papr/abbey.html

Temple, Eric. (1982). An Interview With Edward Abbey. Phoenix, AZ: KAET-TV

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Abbey, Edward. (1968). Desert Solitaire. McGraw-Hill Group.

Duryee, Kent. (1996). Edward Abbey: A Man Hard to Talk About. Desert USA. Online at http://www.desertusa.com/mag00/nov/papr/abbey.html

Temple, Eric. (1982). An Interview With Edward Abbey. Phoenix, AZ: KAET-TV

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