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 returns to the drunkard that he met in the city, the man ends up dying. What does Ish do with him ?

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

3. When Ish is older, he looks up one day while sitting on the hill and realizes that something is different. What is it?

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

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. To what famous couple could the author be comparing Em and Ish?

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

6. What realization makes Ish feel humble beside Em? What does he finally understand?

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

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

9. How is it significant that Ish has not passed on the tradition of carving the year into the rock? What effect may this have later?

10. What is one good reason why the Tribe should merge with the other tribe?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

In Chapter Three, the author states that the fleas: "...in 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 2

Why do you think Ish feels personally responsible for the fate of civilization?

Essay Topic 3

As the book progresses, the author puts a number of subtle hints into the text about how things are changing. For instance, at the end of the book, immediately before Ish dies, a messenger comes to report that the tribe is going to move. Why did the author choose this point in the story for the tribe to move? Do you think they only moved because of the fire? What could the events surrounding this final scene symbolize?

(see the answer keys)

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