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. How does Ish find Em?

2. At the beginning of the book, why doesn't Ish know about the virus?

3. During the Quick Years, the community tries to start a church. From what "church" does Maurine think Ish gets his ideas?

4. After Ish returns to the drunkard that he met in the city, the man ends up dying. What does Ish do with him ?

5. When he is old, what does Ish see near the bay that he realizes has happened before in history?

Short Essay Questions

1. When Ish goes to the library, he chooses two books to take home with him. Why do you think he chose these particular titles?

2. Where did the Tribe bury Charlie?

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

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

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

6. Why are Bob and Dick so eager to use a brick to smash the door instead of the hammer?

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

8. To what famous couple could the author be comparing Em and Ish?

9. Has following Ish thorough the different stages of his life given you a better understanding of why elderly people like to just sit and talk? Why?

10. Why do Ish's feelings about the execution seem to be very different than the feelings of the others?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

From Chapter Three until the first "Quick Years," Ish has a faithful companion in his dog, Princess. What is significant about Princess' arrival and departure? What does she represent to Ish? Do you think Princess is symbolic?

Essay Topic 2

Several times throughout the text, the author makes a point to show Ish finding places that were once inhabited by Indian tribes and other indigenous people. When Ish and Em start to mark out the time, they do it in the same place, and almost in the same fashion, as ancient peoples. How is this significant?

Essay Topic 3

At one point, Ish realizes that the children have come to view him as a sort of deity, and that they attach a superstitious meaning to his hammer. Was Ish truly interested in preventing his deification? What effects will his teaching on these subjects, or lack of teaching, have on future generations and the development of civilization?

(see the answer keys)

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