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 animal does Ish see in his neighbor's yard that doesn't seem to belong there?

2. How does Ish find Em?

3. At the beginning of the book, why doesn't Ish know about the virus?

4. On his way back to the city, Ish breaks into a fine home. What does he do while he is there?

5. In the Quick Years, which new discovery or hobby causes the children to be so delighted 
they name Year Ten after it?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is Ish so concerned about finding people who can "fix" civilization?

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

3. Is the Tribe well organized? Why or why not?

4. Has Ish changed over the years? Why?

5. 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?

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

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

8. What tradition does Em begin when they carve the year into the rock?

9. Is Ish a good leader for the Tribe? Why or why not?

10. Is it significant that the author shows all the dependent animals dying first? If so, how is it significant?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

After the first 22 years, Ish suggests, during one of the tribe's meetings, that an expedition be sent out to find other people. The younger generation, including Ish's own sons, decide that Ish and other members of the older generation cannot go for various reasons. What is significant about this event?

Essay Topic 2

Ish, as the main character, is constantly thinking about the benefits and deficiencies of the old civilization. As the story progresses, he notices how many things have changed, but not according to his plan. However, there are times he has to admit that the changes are positive. Based on Ish's thoughts and the author's italicized commentaries, do you think that the author views civilization as good, bad, or with both elements? What is your reasoning?

Essay Topic 3

When visiting the city where he meets Milt and Ann, Ish reflects that Americans think it is the center of the world. He thinks about what happened to everyone there, and to the world at large, and he thinks of the phrase, "Falls Rome, falls the world." Why do you think Ish is making a comparison between Rome and the city? What does this comparison mean?

(see the answer keys)

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