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How have Human Beings Corrupted their Environment?
(5) I turned on my back and floated, looking up at the sky, nothing
around me but cool, clear Pacific, nothing in my eyes but long blue
space. It was as close as I ever got to cleanliness and freedom, as far as I
ever got from all the people. They had jerrybuilt the beaches from San Diego
to the Golden Gate, bulldozed superhighways through the
(10) mountains, cut down a thousand years of redwood growth, and built
an urban wilderness in the desert. They couldn't touch the ocean. They
poured their sewage into it, but it couldn't be tainted.
There was nothing wrong with Southern California that a rise in the
ocean level wouldn't cure. The sky was flat and empty, and the water was
(15) chilling me. I swam to the kelp-bed and plunged down through it. It
was cold and clammy like the bowels of fear. I came up gasping and
sprinted to shore with a barracuda terror nipping at my heels.
I was still chilly a half hour later, crossing the pass to Nopal Valley.
Even at its summit, the highway was wide and new, rebuilt with somebody's
(20) money. I could smell the source of the money when I slid down into the
valley on the other side. It stank like rotten eggs.
The oil wells from which the sulphur gas rose crowded the slopes on both
sides of the town. I could see them from the highway as I drove in: the
latticed triangles of the derricks where trees had grown, the oil-pumps
nodding and clanking where cattle had grazed. Since 'thirty-nine or 'forty, when
I had seen it last, the town had grown enormously, like a tumor.
25) What are the dominant images in lines 10-12?
A. Light and dark
B. Heat and Light
C. Terror and fear
D. Death and defeat
E. Ugliness and hopelessness