In George R. Stewart’s novel Earth Abides, it follows the main character Ish through a plague-ridden futuristic world. With a large portion of humanity dead and gone, those who survived are left to wonder why they are still on this earth. This novel successfully sucks the reader in from the start where Ish gets bit by a rattlesnake and then once recovered realizes the world is not what it once was. It is now a post-apocalyptic nightmare that Ish and other survivors he meets along the way must endure. It is interesting to see how the animals are impacted by this new world. One animal in particular, a dog later named Princess, becomes Ish’s companion. Ish marries a woman named Em and has children along with the other survivors. They form what they refer to as a “tribe.” Ish is highly concerned with bringing back intellect to future civilization and is heavily reliant on his belief of the the importance of books. It is interesting to see how the initial survivors differ on what they place value on in comparison with their children, whom only know the world for what it is now. They respect Ish’s intelligence immensely and look up to him the most, but they see no point in learning what Ish wants to teach them, such as reading.
The novel shows how truly insignificant humans are in comparison with the world itself. We live as if this earth will be here for us no matter what, but if we keep treating it the way we do it will begin to pick us off. We are the ones who damage it, so in order to remedy the damage, the world needs to get rid of a good percentage of us. Ultimately, this book is a great read for cli-fli lovers and those who have interest in post-apocalyptic scenarios.