Desert Solitaire

Topics: Hunting, Spice 1, Salt Lake City Pages: 2 (512 words) Published: February 11, 2013
The book Desert Solitaire, gives an excellent depiction of pioneer culture in Utah in the 19th century. In the first half of the book, the author, Edward Abbey focuses on dwellings of the pioneers; in the second half, he focuses on the recreational activities of the pioneers. In the first half of the book, Abbey discusses the temporary and permanent dwellings of the Utah pioneers. The first temporary dwellings he talks about are the grass huts made by the fur trappers (61-64). It took one fur trapper in 1832 “two days to make a hut maybe six feet high and eight feet in diameter in the manner of the Paiute [Indians]” (64). Another type of dwelling was the sod huts build in the early 1840’s by settlers to northeast Utah. Cassius O’Rorke, one of these settlers, described the hut he shared with his wife and six kids as “dirty, dark, dank and dangerous” (82-83). A third type of temporary dwelling was the lean-to… [a college level paragraph, 8-10 sentences long, full of specific details and 3-4 quotes]. In the first half of his book, Abbey also discussed the permanent dwellings of the settlers. These were first established in towns like Provo and Salt Lake City. In Salt Lake City, early permanent dwellings were “made of stone and brick, or wood and stone” (102). They were square and “usually only had two rooms, which served as bedroom, living room, kitchen and even stable” (121-122). Provo, on the other hand, saw permanent dwellings in the model of Spanish pueblos (135). … [a college level paragraph, 8-10 sentences long, full of specific details and 3-4 quotes]. In the second half of his book, Abbey explores another dimension of culture, recreation. He examines a number of outdoor activities done for enjoyment. Hunting and fishing, which supplemented the family’s diet, were also enormously “popular with boys and men throughout the 1800’s as a leisure activity” (163-64). The pioneers also enjoyed a number of sports such as “wrestling, boxing, Indian wrestling, hiking,...
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