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 does Em say Ish can do to help her with childbirth?

2. What insects invade Ish's home while he is living alone?

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

4. In the beginning, how does Ish go about finding other people?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What is notable about how Ish acts on his trip home?

4. Why does Ish worry so much about Evie's state?

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

6. Why hasn't Ish ever noticed how beautiful Evie is?

7. In Chapter 4, the author says this of Milt and Ann that they would "pay the penalty which in the history of the world, he knew, had always been inflicted upon organisms which specialized too highly." What do you think the author means by this statement? How has the author shown the same principle already in the text?

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

9. Why does Em start crying when she tells Ish about her pregnancy?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

After the first few chapters of the book, Ish begins collecting companions. Each one interacts with, and affects, Ish in a number of different ways. What effect do the people in Ish's life have on him and his plans? What do the interactions between these people say about Ish, and how did their influences affect the outcome of the story?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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