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 does Ish first find out about the virus?

2. When Ish is alone in the cabin, what disturbs him?

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

4. Why is Ish worried about the couple he stays with in the eastern city?

5. During the Quick Years, one of Ish and Em's earliest children dies. What do the adults think is the cause?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who gave Isherwood his name, and why?

2. 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?

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

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

5. What was the significance of Ish taking the hammer with him to meet Charlie instead of another weapon?

6. Who is the "leader" of the group? Why?

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

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

9. 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?

10. Jack tells Ish about how they have found great quantities of a certain object, all of which have different pictures. Can you name one of the people in the pictures?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

At one point, Ish wonders if they should have let Evie live, or if they should have killed her out of mercy, but he decides that none of the people in the tribe are qualified to make that decision. Why do you think Ish would have felt this way toward Evie, and not toward anyone else? Do you think that Ish really has Evie's best interest at heart? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

At one point, Ish realizes that the children have come to view him as a sort of deity, and that they attach a superstitious meaning to his hammer. Was Ish truly interested in preventing his deification? What effects will his teaching on these subjects, or lack of teaching, have on future generations and the development of civilization?

(see the answer keys)

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