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

2. How does the Tribe mark Em's grave?

3. During the Quick Years, the community tries to start a church. From what "church" does Maurine think Ish gets his ideas?

4. Why do Ish and Ezra decide not to carve the year into the rock in Year Forty-three?

5. What does Em tell Ish not to worry about before she dies?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. How does the Tribe see Ish?

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

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

6. How would you react if you were in Ish's place when he finds out what happened?

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

8. Until he arrives at the desert, what are a few of the things Ish worries about the most?

9. Jack tells Ish about how they have found great quantities of a certain object, all of which have different pictures. Can you name one of the people in the pictures?

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

It is obvious, throughout the book, that Ish is a thinker and an observer. He comes up with many ideas about what needs to be done and conveys them to the other people around him, but he never seems to put his plans into action. Why do you think he acts this way? What point do you think the author may be trying to show through Ish's behavior?

Essay Topic 2

In Chapter Three, the author states that the fleas: " spite of racial differences, amicably maintained a tripartite balance of power, setting for their host an example which he might well have followed." What do you think the author is saying about racism and equality in this text? Why do you think he chose fleas as his illustration? How does the relationship between Ish and Em reflect on the author's view of racism?

Essay Topic 3

In the end, Ish's version of "civilization" didn't turn out the way he planned. Is it better that his personal vision wasn't realized, or do you think that it would have been better if he could have completely restored civilization? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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