Planting a Tree

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In the essay “Planting a Tree”, the author describes his place of living and its surroundings. The author, Edward Abbey, lives in a little house close to the city Tucson, Arizona with his wife and daughter. Abbey portrays his place of living and the surroundings in a very distinct manner. Despite being surrounded by wild animals, Abbey describes the place as nice. Although, he would like to stay here for a while, but he probably will not. However, before leaving Abbey wants to plant a tree so someone or something can enjoy its shade, or birds, or witness the pale gold of its autumn leaves. Abbey and his family have lived at this place for four years and are now free to leave whenever they wish (Abbey 541).

Abbey, along with his wife and daughter moved to Tucson from Utah four years ago. Abbey describes this move being for practical reasons (Abbey 541). However, Abbey’s tone describes that they moved with a military camp. He explains that the “police helicopters circle like fireflies above Tucson, Arizona, all night long, maintaining order….Eighteen Titan missile bases ring the city, guarding us from their enemies. The life expectancy of the average Tucsonan, therefore, is thirty minutes—or whatever it takes for an ICBM to shuttle from there to here. Everything is A-OK. We sleep good” (Abbey 541). Abbey also explains that the practical reasons they moved for are now satisfied and they are free to leave whenever they wish. It seems that Abbey would like to stay here but is probably commanded to go back at some point. Abbey, correlating the defeat of two great contemporary empires with the creeping of the city closer, foresees that he will be obliged to strike camp, once again. Moreover, not knowing where they will go this time.

Furthermore, Abbey says that even though he does not know where they will be off to this time, it does not matter too much as “there is no final escape, merely a series of tactical retreats, until we find a stone wall at our backs,...
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