The Damnation Of A Canyon by Edward Abbey

The Damnation Of A Canyon by Edward Abbey

Length: 923 words (2.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Today, having power is what everybody in this country relies on day to day and couldn't function without it. Every year more and more dams are being built and more man made reservoirs are being created to provide this electricity needed. These dams are very important in my eyes but Edward Abbey carries a different opinion in his writing "The Damnation of a Canyon."
Edward Abbey's heart lies in the once beautiful Glen Canyon. He describes all of his wonderful childhood stories of him floating down the river and how all it took was a paddleboat and little money. He tells of the great beauty of all the animals, insects, forestry, and ancient scenery the canyon once had. This is why Abbey feels reservoirs are doing terrible things for not only Glen Canyon but every river. When you think about it, a natural river untainted by the ways of machinery and humans is virtually non existent today. Any river large enough to have a dam and produce a substantial amount of electricity probably already has many of them doing so. Abbey feels they are ruining the environment and wildlife is being sacrificed. The risen waters of the reservoir drown all of the life that once lived. All of the beautiful scenery and historic sights are replaced by water marked rocks, muddy banks, and very small amounts of forestry and greenery. He believes the whole river is completely disrupted with every reservoir and dam. He highlights the fact that exploring the river now requires a tour guide boat or enough money to buy your own. Overall, Abbey does give some good reasons behind his opinion. However, I have a different belief on the matter. Although Edward Abbey uses strong personal experiences to persuade the reader to argue that the man made reservoirs are destroying the beautiful canyon and the environment, I think he overlooks the other possible opinions and the benefits of having them.
Beyond all of Abbey's personal feelings and emotional memories, let us not forget about what these dams and reservoirs are providing us with-power. Electricity is extremely important to everyone. It is the reason for seemingly everything people consider vital to their lives; cars, computers, TV, running water through the faucet, everything. It is not something we can just forget about because of an author's emotional attachment to a certain strip of land sacrificed to make thousands of other people happy sitting safe in their home with electricity.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Damnation Of A Canyon by Edward Abbey." 123HelpMe.com. 20 Nov 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=162475>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Damnation of a Canyon Essay

- The Damnation of a Canyon      Not many people know of the used-to-be 150-mile excursion that the Glen Canyon had to offer. Not many people know how to sail a raft down a river for a week. Not many people know how to interact with nature and the animals that come with it. We seem to come from a world that is dependent on time and consumed in money. Edward Abbey is what you would call an extreme environmentalist. He talks about how it was an environmental disaster to place a dam in which to create Lake Powell, a reservoir formed on the border of Utah and Arizona....   [tags: Edward Abbey Nature Environment Essays]

Research Papers
1074 words (3.1 pages)

damnation Essay

- Ruining The Grand Places “… It is apparent, then, that we cannot decide the question of development versus preservation by a simple referral to holy writ or an attempt to guess the intention of the founding fathers; we must make up our own minds and decide for ourselves what the national parks should be and what purpose they should serve.”-Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire “… The difference between the present reservoir, with its silent sterile shores and debris-choked side canyons, and the original Glen Canyon, is the difference between death and life....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
1150 words (3.3 pages)

Essay on Edward Abbey's Great American Desert

- Edward Abbey's Great American Desert Environmentalist and desert-lover, Edward Abbey in his essay “The Great American Desert” warns readers about the perilous dangers of the American deserts while simultaneously stirring curiosity about these fascinating ecosystems. He both invites and dissuades his readers from visiting the deserts of North America through the use of humor and sarcasm. In this essay, he is rhetorically successful in arguing that the open spaces of the undeveloped deserts are sacred places in need of respect and protection through his clever use of pathos and logos....   [tags: Edward Abbey Great American Desert Essays]

Research Papers
1367 words (3.9 pages)

The Monkey Wrench Gang By Edward Abbey Essay

- The Monkey Wrench Gang, written by Edward Abbey, is a fictional piece of literature advocating environmental issues and radical anarchism. “We can have wilderness without freedom,” Abbey said. “We can have wilderness without human life at all; but we cannot have freedom without wilderness”(xvi). The Monkey Wrench Gang was set in 1975, after the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal. There was a new sense of environmental awareness in the seventies enforced by the Federal government, including The National Environmental Policy, Clean Air Act, Endangered Species Act, and the Water Pollution Control Act (wiki)....   [tags: Environmentalism, Environment]

Research Papers
1353 words (3.9 pages)

Analysis of Desert Solitarie: A Season in the Wilderness by Edward Abbey

- Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness is an autobiographical narrative written by naturalist Edward Abbey. Abbey composed the account based on his personal experiences as an employee for the United States Park Service at Arches National Monument in Utah. Abbey’s anecdotal account is nonlinearly comprised of occupational experiences and renditions of the region’s folklore. These illustrations analogous because they exhibit related themes and trends associated with the author’s experiences and beliefs....   [tags: beliefs, forklore, employee, experience]

Research Papers
1197 words (3.4 pages)

Edward Abbey 's The Environmentalist Movement Essay

- Edward Abbey is one of the most unique figures in the environmentalist movement. Much of what he wrote was in opposition to the government, and the way the government protected and interacted with the natural world. Because of Abbey’s blatant criticism of this part of environmentalism, he inspired the militant environmentalist group Earth First!, which often hurts others for the sake of the environment. For this reason, they are on the terrorist watch list. His vision of nature seems to be of enjoying nature alone, without other people or the government intervening....   [tags: Environmentalism, Natural environment, Nature]

Research Papers
1041 words (3 pages)

Authenticity in Northanger Abbey Essay

- Northanger Abbey:  Authenticity         In what is for Jane Austen an uncharacteristically direct intervention, the narrator of Northanger Abbey remarks near the end: "The anxiety, which in the state of their attachment must be the portion of Henry and Catherine, and of all who loved either, as to its final event, can hardly extend, I fear, to the bosom of my readers, who will see in the tell-tale compression of the pages before them, that we are all hastening together to perfect felicity." As far as I know this is the only overt reference Austen ever makes to the material nature of her medium, and the relationship of that materiality to generic conventions....   [tags: Northanger Abbey]

Research Papers
1529 words (4.4 pages)

Character Development in Edward Abbey's The Monkey Wrench Gang Essay

- Character Development in Edward Abbey's The Monkey Wrench Gang   Search and Rescue, Utah State Police, and Bishops of the Church of Latter-Day Saints chase a group of bridge destroying, billboard burning, bulldozer mutilating eco-terrorists through the desert of the Southwest. The group known as the Monkey Wrench Gang consists of four very different characters: Seldom Seen Smith, also known as Joseph Smith, George Washington Hayduke, Doctor A. K. Sarvis, and Bonnie Abbzug. Each character has his own opinion of why nature needs to be saved....   [tags: Monkey Wrench Gang Essays]

Research Papers
1315 words (3.8 pages)

Essay about Harold Frederic's Damnation of Theron Ware

- Science and Scientists in Harold Frederic's Damnation of Theron Ware In The Damnation of Theron Ware, Harold Frederic uses the character of Dr. Ledsmar to represent science and the modern, scientific world-view, as a counter to the other archetypal world-views in the story: that of the Church in the priest Father Forbes, a quasi-pagan Hellenistic attitude of Celia, and the unstable Protestantism of Theron Ware. Like the very unique Father Forbes, an unusual priest indeed, Dr. Ledsmar is characteristic of a certain popular image of science that is frequently found in fiction, the isolated and eccentric crank, an unfeeling and driven by a need to take some kind of truth from Nature by fo...   [tags: Harold Frederic Damnation of Theron Ware]

Research Papers
1916 words (5.5 pages)

Significant Monarchs in the History of Westminster Abbey Essay

- Significant Monarchs in the History of Westminster Abbey      Westminster Abbey, an architectural accomplishment from the thirteenth century on, gives an illustrative display of British history. While daily worship still exists, it isn’t a cathedral or a parish church (Internet Westminster). The elaborate Lady Chapel, the shrine of St. Edward the Confessor, as well as tombs and memorials for kings, queens, the famous and great, allow the Abbey to be considered a “Royal Peculiar”, which means that it falls under direct control of the British monarch (Internet Westminster)....   [tags: Westminster Abbey Architecture Monarchs Essays]

Free Essays
3588 words (10.3 pages)

Related Searches

Sure, the reservoir did drown some historic scenery and also some greenery. However, greenery can grow back and anyone who wanted to view the historic sights that bad are more then welcome to rent scuba gear to see it. I find it hard to believe how one can complain about some land being ruined when dams are the biggest provider of electricity in the world today, and keep everything for him running smoothly. Would he rather have no dams and have to live in the ancient past with candles and fireplaces? I doubt he would. What this dam and reservoir provided to him was incredibly overlooked by Abbey.
Abbey also fails to understand how other people might have been happy with the change in the river and not devastated like him. The dam creates a reservoir or lake which can provide not the same fun as before but different fun. The calm waters allows for boating sports like tubing or wake boarding. With this, people can now bring the family up to enjoy some good tubing and then a tour of the river below the dam. Abbey continuously forgets to let go his own personal experiences and doesn't understand that other people may have different positive opinions on the change in the river. If Abbey would just calm down and consider all of the new possible fun, he probably wouldn't be so disappointed. Abbey definitely overlooks other people's opinions on the reservoirs.
Abbey also doesn't realize what the effects would be if he got his wish and the dams and reservoirs were removed. They would be absolutely devastating. The mess alone would require a huge amount of man power and money to clean. There would be massive flooding in the area below the dam. The drained reservoir would be 100 times uglier than it is now. It would be a huge hole of mud and old garbage left behind by motorboat owners. All of the wildlife that survived the first environment change would be forced to survive another, and they might not be as lucky this time. Then what would this country do to salvage the energy losses? Endless fields of solar energy plants and towers would cost this country billions upon billions of dollars and it still would be even close to efficient enough. Abbey doesn't understand that getting rid of dams would create way larger and more catastrophic problems than a couple water marks and drowned scenery. Abbey didn't consider the consequences of what he proposed at all.
In the end, Abbey does make some solid points behind his belief of the reservoirs damaging environments. But I think abbey failed to keep his personal feelings and emotional history with the canyon out of the way and this prevented him from taking a look at the big picture. Abbey just needs to understand that we live in a constantly modernizing country that requires more and more power every day, and until a different method is discovered, dams and reservoirs are the only solution.
Return to 123HelpMe.com