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. Why is Lefty fired from the Ford automobile company?

2. Why do Lefty and Desdemona know that they can trust Sourmelina to keep the secret that they are siblings?

3. How does Milton seduce Tessie?

4. What is unusual about Lefty and Desdemona's relationship?

5. What does Desdemona vow to never do again after Milton's birth?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why do Desdemona and Lefty pretend that they do not know each other while aboard the Giulia?

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

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

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

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

7. Describe Detroit in 1967.

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

9. Describe the village of Bithynios.

10. Describe the Greek General Hajienestis.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

One of the themes in Middlesex is the American Dream. Discuss how the American Dream is used in this novel and what it says about the attainability of the dream. 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

Secrets play a major role in Middlesex. Discuss and analyze three secrets in the novel by:

1) Describing what is being kept a secret and why.

2) The impact of the secrets on the characters and plot of the story.

3) The commentary that the author is trying to make about secrets based on these examples.

(see the answer keys)

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