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 animal does Ish see in his neighbor's yard that doesn't seem to belong there?

2. What is the name of Ish and Em's second child?

3. During the Quick Years, one of Ish and Em's earliest children dies. What do the adults think is the cause?

4. How does Ish find Em?

5. How many children did Em have before the virus?

Short Essay Questions

1. Do Ish's own children think of Evie the same way that he does?

2. How does the Tribe see Ish?

3. Who is the "leader" of the group? Why?

4. How is Ish different at the end of the book than he was at the start?

5. Until he arrives at the desert, what are a few of the things Ish worries about the most?

6. What was different about the bodies that Ish saw in the dry, Arizona town?

7. What do Ish and Em have to refill in order to continue on their journey? How do they do this?

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

9. Would Ish like any man that the boys brought back? Why or why not?

10. What realization makes Ish feel humble beside Em? What does he finally understand?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

As the book progresses, the author puts a number of subtle hints into the text about how things are changing. For instance, at the end of the book, immediately before Ish dies, a messenger comes to report that the tribe is going to move. Why did the author choose this point in the story for the tribe to move? Do you think they only moved because of the fire? What could the events surrounding this final scene symbolize?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

At one point, Ish wonders if they should have let Evie live, or if they should have killed her out of mercy, but he decides that none of the people in the tribe are qualified to make that decision. Why do you think Ish would have felt this way toward Evie, and not toward anyone else? Do you think that Ish really has Evie's best interest at heart? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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