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. How do Ish and Em decide to mark the years?

2. How does Em demonstrate to Ish that children are necessary?

3. In Year Five, the people create a "national pastime" out of avoiding 
what type of animal?

4. What does Ezra ask Ish to do after Em dies?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. Why do Ish's feelings about the execution seem to be very different than the feelings of the others?

2. 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?

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

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

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

6. How does the Tribe see Ish?

7. Why do the young men, though they have probably suffered, have less lines in their faces than someone in the old civilization would have had?

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

9. Does Ish seem to treat Joey differently than everyone else? Why or why not?

10. Where did the Tribe bury Charlie?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

From Chapter Three until the first "Quick Years," Ish has a faithful companion in his dog, Princess. What is significant about Princess' arrival and departure? What does she represent to Ish? Do you think Princess is symbolic?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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

(see the answer keys)

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