Living in Solitude
Edward Abbey’s Desert Solitaire is a book about a man who takes a job as a ranger in Arches Nation Park in Mohab, Utah. He lives alone in a house trailer in the park and it is his job to watch over the reservation. As I read the book it became apparent to me that Abbey is a loner. He tends to remove himself or distance himself from situations which involve other humans. He does however associate rarely with other human though Abbey prefers solitude.
From the very start of the book you get the impression that Abbey prefers to live alone in solitude. He talks about he was required to live by himself and work by himself away from all civilization. However he then states that if that was not the case he would never have taken the job. (2)
Towards the beginning of the book it becomes very evident that abbey prefers to be more in touch with nature than with civilization. As he walked down the road he brought a flashlight with him. He does not use the flashlight though because he says “it tends to separate a man from the world around him.” He would rather blend in with the world around him and be “isolated.” (15) He then returns to the house trailer and turns on the generator so he can write a letter to himself. After he turns of the generator and begins to hear the night sounds again he states that even though he is far away from other humans and instead of loneliness he feels “loveliness.”(16)
Abbey almost does not need civilization. Instead of thinking of the mice in his trailer as a nuisance he thinks of them as sharing a home with him (4). He is almost friends with the mice. He leaves them crumbs and leaves them be until a rattlesnake starts coming around to eat the mice. After stepping out of his trailer to find this rattlesnake right by his feet he thinks about killing the rattle snake but then explains himself as a “humanist.”(20) He “would rather kill a man than a snake.” He is almost more in tune with the animals then...