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. While Ish is alone in his house and pondering civilization, what does he decide he will never be?

2. While scavenging for food in his hometown, what item of food does Ish find to be inedible because of mice and weevils?

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

4. In the beginning, how does Ish go about finding other people?

5. What instrument does Ish play in the "Year We Sang"?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. Why does Ish worry so much about Evie's state?

6. Why does Ish decide that most of the items on his original list of survival characteristics are useless?

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

8. Do Ish's own children think of Evie the same way that he does?

9. Are the other Tribe members as dedicated to education as Ish is? Why or why not?

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

When visiting the city where he meets Milt and Ann, Ish reflects that Americans think it is the center of the world. He thinks about what happened to everyone there, and to the world at large, and he thinks of the phrase, "Falls Rome, falls the world." Why do you think Ish is making a comparison between Rome and the city? What does this comparison mean?

Essay Topic 2

Ish, as the main character, is constantly thinking about the benefits and deficiencies of the old civilization. As the story progresses, he notices how many things have changed, but not according to his plan. However, there are times he has to admit that the changes are positive. Based on Ish's thoughts and the author's italicized commentaries, do you think that the author views civilization as good, bad, or with both elements? What is your reasoning?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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