Sample Literature Paper on “The Monkey Wrench Gang”

Sample Literature Paper on “The Monkey Wrench Gang”


The story “The Monkey Wrench Gang” was written by Edward Abbey to protest against the damage that was imposed on the environment. It reflected on real life events that took place in South West America. The author articulated on activities that destroyed both nature and wildlife.

For instance, the phrase “monkey wrench” depicts misuse of machines which caused destruction. In this tale, Abbey incorporates four characters and the precautions they took to work to restore order to the society. A good example is when these individuals acted as enemies and switched to habits that caused destruction to air and land. This served as a way to protest against harmful environmental activities. Through this plan, Abbey and his group were able to create awareness to the government and public on the significance of keeping the surroundings safe.


The thesis of this narration concerns efforts that the writer used to end activities which damaged the environment during the modernization period (Abbey 86).

The author portrays how he despised actions that contributed to destruction. This affected and altered progress of the wild landscape in the South West. We also learn about the author’s interest towards nature. For instance, this situation made him to criticize the American corporate culture. Abbey also argues about the reasons that made US to ignore the value of the wildness and nature. A good example is illustrated when leaders in America choose to support profitable activities that destroyed the environment.

In this article, the author depicts efforts that he used to convince the society to restore order and not to expose detrimental conditions to the environment. In this regard, ideas in this book were adopted by radical members of the surrounding to instill a movement. Its purpose was to engage in action to protect the environment (Bishop 70).

The major theme that applies in this narration is Love of the Western wilderness. Based on this subject matter, the main purpose of the writer was to depict how greed in society was harmful to the Western side of the wilderness. In this argument, Abbey exposed the myths that revolved around sovereign westerners. This was based on the fact that both miners and ranchers who lived in the West were highly supported financially by the federal government in America. He mentions the formation of Lake Powell as the main tragedy that contributed to degradation of the environment

His major issues focused on environmental challenges which he criticized in the story. This is inclusive of the culture that revolved around his life. Abbey became controversial in his work which made his fellow environmentalist to rebuke his stand. For instance, this writer literally decided to make the environment dirty by throwing beer cans out of his vehicle. His intention was to add dirt to the environment because it was already untidy.

Furthermore, Abbey did not support the western methods of agriculture and modern practices that applied in ranching. In general, he opposed the move by the environmental activists. This was clear when he refused to approve conservatives and liberal perspectives in safeguarding the surrounding. Evidently, the writer’s perception became influenced by his passion towards America West and nature.  He operated by a spirit of liberty which guided him on many paths that he chooses to follow.

Reports further indicate that Abbey embraced harmful but not violent means to protest. It is at this point when he cites that “If laws in the wilderness are not respected, the wilderness will only be saved by outlaws.” This perspective of embracing disruption means to protest became adopted by a section of conservationists.

He further terms all living creatures across the globe to be under the family category. Abbey puts emphasis on the fact that people need the presence of wilderness around them. It did not matter even if they visited or simply heard of it. In this theme, he articulated on the need to protect surroundings and its significance to nature (Dobson 65). Additionally, he claimed that it was his responsibility is to save nature above other things.

The Environmental Message or Issues in the Book

The environmental issues were identified well from the past to this current day. Clearly, all aspects that are incorporated in this narration were meant to foster readers to understand challenges which the surrounding was exposed to.  The four characters that are incorporated in this tale include doc. This is a physician who is known for destroying billboards through burning them. In the story, doc acts along his young partner Bonnie Abzug and other two partners. These four characters see each other severally on the trips. It is during this time that they discuss till later hours of the night ways to cause destruction.

Note: the image above shows four major characters in the story (Abbey 112).

In reference to the narration, this disruption was meant to apply to all the bridges and dams. Other features that were part of the destruction incorporated mines, bridges, roads pylons which affected the Arizona desert. Basically, this narration revolved around an adventure story that incorporated tragedy and tension within it.  The group’s plan was to build a rail way and road after their first attack that became successful.

The author depicts environmental issues in the story through industrialization and how it generates high expenses in safeguarding the surrounding. It is a fact that individuals in society still encounter hardships when exposed to pollution that is caused by human activities.  For instance, these factors have subjected people to contract diseases in the community It is unfortunate that the same issues still apply to the present society which contributes to unhealthy lifestyle.

The effective measures that decreased these conditions were attained via formulation of groups. This was to aid in handling challenges that affected the surrounding. This approach spread because it was being fostered by technology. Apparently, in this modern era, the use of social media has improved and become more relevant in contrast to use of articles. This implies that it is the most effective way of restoring wildlife and nature in American society. It is evident when focus on social media facilitated faster spread of information to the public than book reports.  Despite the time factor, the overall message that posed issues to the industrial sector still imposed the surrounding to destruction.

Evidently, as much as Edward Abbey focused on environmental issues, he was simply not an environmentalist. This is because, his responsibility revolved around essay writing and fiction. Furthermore, a huge part of his work was based on controversial elements which made members of various teams to rebuke him (Bishop 38).

As a way of delivering the environmental message to the public, he threw beer cans from his car because the highway was totally ruined. This message was about degradation of the western farming and ranching. In this context, Abbey was well known for being in the National Rifle Association. According to this narration, the writer did not feel comfortable in relation to the environmental activities that were taking place. Clearly, Abbey had developed passion for wilderness and nature that he stayed with his parents for a long duration. This was to protect the environment where he stayed in America West.  Furthermore, Abbey was perceived to have freedom when he talked about other issues that were linked to discrimination and homosexuality in society.

In his work that concerned the Desert solitaire, Abbey concentrated on revealing about the beauty of the southwest. He further revealed his controversial views based on issues that affected the environment. As a result, he became accused of not having sufficient evidence to defend himself on the matter.  Despite the accusations, majority of individuals today still visits his website “The Monkey Wrench Gang.”  This enables them to learn on various aspects to save the environment. His fight to ensure that nature and wilderness was not destroyed generated both love and hatred towards him. People who supported his views on keeping the environment safe motivated Abbey to indulge in constructive initiatives in handling the matter.

My Perspective and Relevance of the Issue

In my opinion, I agree with the message that is relayed in this book. It is significant for the society to put in efforts that will safeguard nature and wilderness. I second Abbey’s perspective to keep the surrounding safe to avoid extinction of animals in future. Evidently, if the number of animals reduces, the country will lose its revenue from tourists. In this regard, manmade practices should be avoided because it renders harmful effects to both people and animals (Dobson 52).  Furthermore, people should also respect the views that are shared by the author via adopting ways of operation that reduces danger to the environment.

It is unfortunate to note how individuals choose to use short cuts to make their life simpler. However, these methods are dangerous because they expose human beings to health issues which disrupt their prosperity. This implies that humanity and its generation are protected when the environment is kept safe. I also support the message from the book because it makes it transparent for people to protect the environment as their moral responsibility. Clearly, it is the duty of people to take care of animals and nature to enhance their welfare in the society.

Analyzing the current communities that we live in, it is a fact that environmental issue is still relevant. For instance, the earth is exposed to danger due to global warming. This is an issue that emerged when the past generation ignored to take measures to protect the environment. As much as people think they have authority over the ecosystem, this should not encourage them to destroy nature and animals. In this regard, it is vital for human beings to show that they still care for the environment (Cassuto 94). This issue can be solved through initiating measures that could be used to punish individuals who use power to cause destruction.

Human activities are termed to be major contributors to destroying the environment. Socially, the issue has affected the quality of life in today’s generation. It has also disrupted diversity hence this makes it hard for other creatures to survive in society. For instance, plants that wild animals depend on to survive have been destroyed by human beings. As a result, this poses danger in the wilderness causing extinction of animals that could generate revenue through tourism.


Works Cited

Abbey, Edward. Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness. New York: Simon & Schuster,        1990. Print.

Abbey, Edward. The Monkey Wrench Gang. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1975. Print.

Bishop, James. Epitaph for a Desert Anarchist: The Life and Legacy of Edward Abbey. New         York: Atheneum, 1994. Print.

Cassuto, David N. Dripping Dry: Literature, Politics, and Water in the Desert Southwest. Ann      Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2001. Print.

Dobson, Andrew. The Green Reader: Essays Toward a Sustainable Society. San Francisco:           Mercury House, 1991. Print.