Middlesex 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. What does Chapter Eleven do after the church service that shocks and frightens Tessie?

2. How does Milton seduce Tessie?

3. Who is Lefty and Desdemona's sponsor for entry into America?

4. Why are realtors reluctant to sell Milton a home in Grosse Pointe?

5. What does Calliope do when she she is baptized?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Desdemona's silkworm box and its contents.

2. Why does Lefty not marry either of the village girls that Desdemona attempts to set him up with?

3. Compare Lefty's original Zebra Room to Milton's version of the Zebra Room.

4. Describe Fard Muhammad's beliefs about the evolution of race.

5. Describe Detroit in 1967.

6. Why are do the members of Temple No. 1 raise silkworms and produce silk fabric and clothing?

7. What does Desdemona do when she hears that Milton's Navy unit will be going to war?

8. Describe Sourmelina's appearance when Lefty and Desdemona first arrive in Detroit. What is the significance of the way she looks?

9. How does Desdemona react to the speeches that she hears through the heating grates while working in the Silk Room?

10. Why does Lefty visit the town of Bursa so often?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Sexual taboos are central to the story lines in Middlesex. Discuss how the author uses forbidden romance and sexual secrets in the novel. What is the impact of these taboos on the story? What is the author trying to say about our beliefs about sexuality? Cite several specific examples from the novel to support your ideas.

Essay Topic 2

At the beginning of Middlesex, the narrator (Cal) tells the reader that the purpose for telling this story is to record the family history that led to his hermaphroditism. ("And so before it's too late I want to get it down for good: this roller-coaster ride of a single gene through time.") Do you believe that this is the only reason for writing this story? Why or why not? What are some other reasons why Cal chooses to write this story?Cite several specific examples from the novel to support your viewpoint.

Essay Topic 3

Friendships with females are important to Cal/Calliope's journey towards self-discovery. Select two of the following females that the narrator befriends: Julie Kikuchi, Clementine Stark, the Obscure Object , Zora. Discuss:

1) Cal/Calliope's relationship with each woman.

2) The impact of this relationship on her view of herself.

3) Compare the two relationships. How are they different? How are they the same? Which has a greater influence on the person that Cal/Calliope becomes?

Cite several specific examples from the novel to support your ideas.

(see the answer keys)

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