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 event affects the house of Ish's neighbor that Ish refuses to fix?

2. What do the older members of the community notice that 
they think "pushes back the darkness" a little?

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

4. On his trip back to his hometown from the east coast, Ish has to drive a long way around something. What causes Ish to detour?

5. When Ish heads to the east coast, what does he attach to the back of his car?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. How do the older people treat Charlie?

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

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

5. Why hasn't Ish ever noticed how beautiful Evie is?

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

7. What did Ezra do to test Charlie about his vest?

8. How does the Tribe see Ish?

9. Has Ish lived a happier life in spite of, or because of, the disaster?

10. Where did the Tribe bury Charlie?

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

Several times throughout the text, the author makes a point to show Ish finding places that were once inhabited by Indian tribes and other indigenous people. When Ish and Em start to mark out the time, they do it in the same place, and almost in the same fashion, as ancient peoples. How is this significant?

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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