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 happens to Jimmy on Lefty's and his last trip out to the lake?

2. What is unusual about Desdemona's presence on Hastings Street?

3. What does Dr. Philobosian have that he believes will protect him from the Turks?

4. How do Lefty's and Dr. Philobosian's paths cross?

5. What shocks Desdemona and Lefty about Sourmelina's husband, Jimmy Zismo?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is Desdemona fearful about Tessie and Milton's burgeoning romantic relationship?

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

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

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

5. What is the conflict between Desdemona and Lefty in the chapter "Marriage on Ice"?

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

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

8. Describe Detroit in 1967.

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

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the relationship between tradition and the modernity in Middlesex. How does the author represent the traditional and the modern in the story? How do the two interact with each other? What is the impact of modernity on tradition? Cite several specific examples from the novel to support your ideas.

Essay Topic 2

Middlesex looks at the relationship between gender and physical sex (i.e. male or female body parts and hormones). Discuss what the novel says about:

1) the relationship between the two. Are they always the same or different? Why?

2) what influences gender? Is physical sex the only thing that determines gender? What else influences gender?

Cite several specific examples from the novel to support your ideas. Then comment on the novel's view points. Do you agree or disagree with what the novel says about the relationship between gender and physical sex? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

There are several characters who influence the person that the narrator becomes. Select the two characters who you believe have the greatest impact on her development and:

1) describe each character's actions or beliefs as they relate to Cal/Calliope.

2) discuss the impact of this character on Cal/Calliope's life and personality.

3) discuss why you selected each particular character. What about each character made him/her more of an influence on Cal/Calliope than others?

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

(see the answer keys)

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