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. In Year Eleven, Molly is the first person to have this happen to her:

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

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

4. At one point, Ish considers suicide, but there is one particular reason he decides not to kill himself. What gives Ish the will to live?

5. 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?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why does Jack think that some of the arrowhead materials are better than others?

3. Who gave Isherwood his name, and why?

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

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

7. What law does Ish believe needs to be in effect the next time any new people arrive in their area? Why?

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

9. When Ish goes to the library, he chooses two books to take home with him. Why do you think he chose these particular titles?

10. What is the author trying to illustrate when he shows how the young men treat Ish if he doesn't answer questions?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

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

At the beginning of the story, Ish is referred to as a person who doesn't do well in social gatherings. Later in the book, Ish decides that he is, ironically, happier than he would have been if things had been normal, but still, he never seems satisfied that civilization hasn't returned to the way it was before. Why do you think Ish never seems to be satisfied? How do you think this affects him, and the fate of the people who look up to him?

(see the answer keys)

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