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. While driving back home after his cross-country trip, what animals does Ish notice have disappeared?

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

3. What does Ish find when he arrives home after his trip to the east coast?

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

5. While Ish is traveling to the east coast, he kills an animal, eating its liver afterward. What kind of animal does Ish kill?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why do the young men, though they have probably suffered, have less lines in their faces than someone in the old civilization would have had?

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

3. What day of the year do Ish and Em choose to be their New Year's Day? Why?

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

5. Does Ish seem to treat Joey differently than everyone else? Why or why not?

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

7. Why does Ish start walking with a limp?

8. 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?

9. Has Ish changed over the years? Why?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

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

Throughout the book, Ish is determined just to be the observer, someone who watches what becomes of civilization. How do you think this attitude affects the way things develop and his life in general? Do you think that he stays true to this decision throughout the entire story? Why or why not? Please supply evidence from the book for you answer.

(see the answer keys)

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