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. During the Quick Years, one of Ish and Em's earliest children dies. What do the adults think is the cause?

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

3. After Ish meets the family in Arkansas, the author talks about the fall of mankind. Who does the writer say will truly be saddened by the death of man?

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

5. Why does Ish think the books in the library are important?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What do you think of how Ish paid for the food he received from the family in Arkansas? Was it a fair exchange?

3. What difference does Em make in Ish's life? What would have happened to Ish if Em had not been there?

4. 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?

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

6. After the over-population of a certain animal, Ish notices that the larger ones of the species start killing one another off. He decides that the animals are not doing this out of hunger. What does he believe is the real reason?

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

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

9. What does the author mean when he talks about certain crops and mankind being interdependent? Is he trying to make a larger statement?

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

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

In the first six chapters of the book, Ish notices that there are certain animals that cannot live without man, while there are others who seem to adapt after awhile. The author makes several comments about these animals throughout the remainder of the book. Do you think that the author is really, in a sense, talking about mankind? If so, what is he saying? If not, what point do you think the author is trying to emphasize?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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