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 medical fact does Dr. Philobosian share with Desdemona that makes her worry about her pregnancy?

2. Which of the following statements best describes Lefty?

3. What does Desdemona vow to never do again after Calliope's birth?

4. What does Desdemona do to help make the village girls more attractive to Lefty?

5. Who does Desdemona hope that Milton will marry?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why does Desdemona become concerned about her unborn child after talking with Dr. Philobosian?

3. Why do the Ford Sociological Department workers visit Lefty's home? What do they find that concerns them?

4. What is particular significance of Lefty and Desdemona (brother and sister) marrying for Cal/Calliope, the narrator?

5. Describe the narrator in Book 2, Ex Ovo Omina.

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

7. Why do Tessie and Milton want a baby daughter so badly?

8. How does Jimmy Zismo change during Sourmelina's pregnancy?

9. Describe Desdemona's transformation after Calliope's birth.

10. How does the narrator characterize Lefty's gradual demise?

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

Throughout Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides weaves actual events from history (Turkish and American) into his fictional story. Select one of the situations where he places his characters within a real historical context and:

1) Describe the historical context of the scene or chapter (i.e. What actually happened in history that Eugenides uses in the book?).

2) Discuss the relationship between the historical context and the fictional story of the Stephanides family. What does this piece of history have to do with the family's life? Why does Eugenides choose to place these characters at this particular point in the story in this particular historical context?

Essay Topic 3

Middlesex is a first person narrative written from the point of view of Cal. Discuss how this fact influences the story? What biases does Cal bring to the story? How would the nove be different if another character was telling the story? Cite several specific examples from the novel to support your ideas.

(see the answer keys)

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