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. In Year Nine, (The Year of the Deaths) what causes almost everyone to
 become ill?

2. While exploring the city, Ish meets a drunkard. What is the man's name?

3. What does Ish start carrying with him for protection after meeting a pack of dogs in his hometown?

4. How many children did Em have before the virus?

5. What does Ish find when he arrives home after his trip to the east coast?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. After the over-population of a certain animal, Ish notices that the larger ones of the species start killing one another off. He decides that the animals are not doing this out of hunger. What does he believe is the real reason?

8. What trick do the children play every year at New Years?

9. How is Ish different at the end of the book than he was at the start?

10. Is it significant that the author shows all the dependent animals dying first? If so, how is it significant?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

How is it significant that Ish said that he would never be a god, but in the end, he becomes a god to his people? Do you think Ish could have prevented this? What was it about his own behavior that caused Ish's life to turn out differently than he planned?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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