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

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

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

4. What animal do the children see for the first time in Year Nineteen?

5. Why do Em and Ish decide to keep Princess in the house during the infestation?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. How is it significant that many of the people do not sleep in the same location that Ish does?

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

5. Why is Ish so concerned about finding people 
who can "fix" civilization?

6. How is it significant that Ish has not passed on the tradition of carving the year into the rock? What effect may this have later?

7. Ish uses razors, and then throws them away, using a new one every day. Is this behavior a good idea or a bad idea? What does this say about Ish?

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

9. 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?

10. How do the older people treat Charlie?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

At the end of the book, Ish notices that, even though the rest of the city has burned, the university library is still intact. What is the significance of the library's survival?

Essay Topic 2

Why do you think Ish feels personally responsible for the fate of civilization?

Essay Topic 3

After the first few chapters of the book, Ish begins collecting companions. Each one interacts with, and affects, Ish in a number of different ways. What effect do the people in Ish's life have on him and his plans? What do the interactions between these people say about Ish, and how did their influences affect the outcome of the story?

(see the answer keys)

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