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. At the end of Chapter Two, Ish makes a list of the reasons he will survive better than many of the people he meets. Why does Ish believe he is better prepared to survive?

2. While living alone, what book does Ish begin reading that makes him uneasy?

3. In Year Five, the people create a "national pastime" out of avoiding 
what type of animal?

4. What type of animal begins to invade the city after Ish and Em find one another?

5. On his way back to town after his illness, what does Ish do when he reaches Johnson's?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How does the Tribe see Ish?

3. Who gave Isherwood his name, and why?

4. Why does Ish run away from the column of smoke?

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

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

7. Why do you think the group wouldn't allow Evie to have children?

8. Jack tells Ish about how they have found great quantities of a certain object, all of which have different pictures. Can you name one of the people in the pictures?

9. Ish uses razors, and then throws them away, using a new one every day. Is this behavior a good idea or a bad idea? What doesthis say about Ish?

10. How is it significant that Ish has not passed on the tradition of carving the year into the rock? What effect may this have later?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

In the end, Ish's version of "civilization" didn't turn out the way he planned. Is it better that his personal vision wasn't realized, or do you think that it would have been better if he could have completely restored civilization? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

Why do you think Ish feels personally responsible for the fate of civilization?

(see the answer keys)

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