The Abbey and Meloy Complex

Topics: Arches National Park, Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire Pages: 5 (1557 words) Published: December 2, 2012
Eileen M. Shutt
English 475
Mary Webb
Analysis of literary non-fiction
The Abbey and Meloy Complex
Two authors that write in the same genre of non-fiction might be considered to be plain and boring, just because the genre is non-fiction. One has to admit that non-fiction is not particularly a section that many take a shining too; however, one should. Non-fiction is so much more than just real life accounts but the language, stylistic features, and personality of an author really shine through.

Two of these authors that possess the language, unique stylistic features, and personality that really creates an interesting non-fiction piece are Edward Abbey and Ellen Meloy; these authors make non-fiction writing, as well as reading this genre, completely exhilarating and so much more than the stigma given to non-fiction pieces. Each of these two authors is similar yet different. Edward Abbey and Ellen Meloy are similar in the stylistic features they employ, yet, they differ in the method in which and how they apply their stylist features.

The first author up for a closer analysis is the non-fiction author Edward Abbey. The book that will be looked at of Abbey’s is Desert Solitaire. The non-fiction piece was written in the 1960’s when Edward Abbey was working as a park ranger, which he had worked as for fifteen years, in Arches national Monument in the state of Utah. The non-fiction book Desert solitaire contains a subtitle of: A Season in the Wilderness, however, it has been rumored that it is really a culmination of him working three seasons at Arches National Monument, suppose he will be the only one to really ever know. The book is not written in a traditional manner, meaning his tone is less formal, and his writing is loose and flows easily.

The stylistic features of Edward Abbey’s writing in Desert Solitaire that will be focused upon are his informal tone which is seemingly replaced with a very satirical one. Coinciding with his satirical tone is his unique writing features. Edward Abbey makes great use of em-dashes and juxtaposition. The first quote that is taken from Desert Solitaire: A season in the Wilderness is almost an all-encompassing quote of Edward Abbey. “No more cars in national parks. Let the people walk. Or ride horses, bicycles, mules, wild pigs-anything- but keep the automobiles and the motorcycles and all their motorized relatives out” (Abbey, 65).

The quote clearly shows how Edward Abbey makes use of his ever so loved satirical tone and humor. Through his humor his personality really shines. Although it seems that he is blaming outsiders, in a way he is; and outsiders meaning people who don’t seem to understand or embrace nature quite like he does, which would be everyone in his case. Through his satirical tone this becomes his mode of how to really drive to point home that he is really in touch with nature and loves it to its very core. Also find within the above quote we see how he makes use of em-dashes. Edward Abbey uses em-dashes throughout the entirety of the non-fiction work. He makes use of the em-dashes to really drive a point that he is trying to make, add additional information, and of course uses them to give way to his resounding opinion. An additional stylistic feature used by Abbey often, and again found in the above quote, is his use of juxtaposition; juxtaposition, comparing two seemingly unrelated items and comparing them against one another to create irony and humor. Placing cars against horses, mules, and to make a point, and a funny one, wild hogs. One can see from the juxtaposition and from the imagery of humans riding wild hogs through the deeply engraved trails of Arches National monument. “Arches National Monument is meant to be among other things a sanctuary for wildlife-for all forms of wildlife. It is my duty as a park ranger to protect, preserve and defend all living things within the park boundaries, making no exceptions” (Abbey, 20).

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