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 driving back home after his cross-country trip, what animals does Ish notice have disappeared?

2. At the end of Chapter Two, Ish makes a list of the reasons he will survive better than many of the people he meets. Why does Ish believe he is better prepared to survive?

3. How does Ish first find out about the virus?

4. What animal does Ish see running in the highway after the virus strikes?

5. Why does Ish think the books in the library are important?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What do you think of how Ish paid for the food he received from the family in Arkansas? Was it a fair exchange?

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

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

5. Does Ish put too much emphasis on above-average intelligence instead of other qualities?

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

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

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

10. What realization makes Ish feel humble beside Em? What does he finally understand?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the end, Ish's version of "civilization" didn't turn out the way he planned. Is it better that his personal vision wasn't realized, or do you think that it would have been better if he could have completely restored civilization? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

After the first 22 years, Ish suggests, during one of the tribe's meetings, that an expedition be sent out to find other people. The younger generation, including Ish's own sons, decide that Ish and other members of the older generation cannot go for various reasons. What is significant about this event?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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