Earth Abides Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Em tell Ish not to worry about before she dies?

2. What does Ish become obsessed with doing while the city is being overrun by a certain kind of animal?

3. After Ish and Em come together, something happens that makes Ish panic, but Em turns it into a game. What happens?

4. On his way back to the city, Ish breaks into a fine home. What does he do while he is there?

5. When Ish decides to take a cross-country trip, what is the reason he decides to go?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why are Richard and Robert chosen for the expedition instead of the other men?

2. What is the author trying to illustrate when he shows how the young men treat Ish if he doesn't answer questions?

3. When visiting the library, what does Joey ask Ish about restoring? What does he see that causes him to ask the question?

4. How does the Tribe see Ish?

5. How is it significant that many of the people do not sleep in the same location that Ish does?

6. Who gave Isherwood his name, and why?

7. What did Ezra do to test Charlie about his vest?

8. Why hasn't Ish ever noticed how beautiful Evie is?

9. Are the other Tribe members as dedicated to education as Ish is? Why or why not?

10. Is it significant that the author shows all the dependent 
animals dying first? If so, how is it significant?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

At the beginning of the story, Ish is referred to as a person who doesn't do well in social gatherings. Later in the book, Ish decides that he is, ironically, happier than he would have been if things had been normal, but still, he never seems satisfied that civilization hasn't returned to the way it was before. Why do you think Ish never seems to be satisfied? How do you think this affects him, and the fate of the people who look up to him?

Essay Topic 2

After the first 22 years, Ish suggests, during one of the tribe's meetings, that an expedition be sent out to find other people. The younger generation, including Ish's own sons, decide that Ish and other members of the older generation cannot go for various reasons. What is significant about this event?

Essay Topic 3

Throughout the book, there are particular characters that Ish becomes much more attached to than others. For instance, Em, Princess, and Joey seem to be the most important to Ish, though he has many more children, and at one point, another wife. Why were these characters more important to Ish than the others? What could each character possibly symbolize?

(see the answer keys)

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