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

2. What vegetable does Ish grow in his garden in Year Two of the Quick Years?

3. When Ish is alone in the cabin, what disturbs him?

4. What does Ish notice is peculiar about one of the towns he visits on his drive home from Black Creek?

5. What does Ish start carrying with him for protection after meeting a pack of dogs in his hometown?

Short Essay Questions

1. What trick do the children play every year at New Years?

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

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

4. Why does Ish start walking with a limp?

5. 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?

6. What was the significance of Ish taking the hammer with him to meet Charlie instead of another weapon?

7. What event at the end of Chapter 5 both frightens and saddens Ish?

8. Has Ish lived a happier life in spite of, or because of, the disaster?

9. Has Ish changed over the years? Why?

10. How does the Tribe see Ish?

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

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?

Essay Topic 3

How is it significant that Ish said that he would never be a god, but in the end, he becomes a god to his people? Do you think Ish could have prevented this? What was it about his own behavior that caused Ish's life to turn out differently than he planned?

(see the answer keys)

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