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 Milton as he is about to go into war that Desdemona believes is an answer to her prayers?

2. Who marries Lefty and Desdemona on the boat?

3. In the chapter "Tricknology", what does Lefty do to help supplement his income?

4. Who is the narrator of the story?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. Compare Milton's and Mike Antoniou's views on religion.

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

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

7. What does Milton do to convince the realtor to sell him Middlesex?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

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

The influence of parents on children is a recurring topic in Middlesex. Select two of the following pairs and discuss the relationship between the parent and child. Focus your discussion on the ways the the parent does or does not influence the child's development (physical, emotional, social and intellectual). Cite several specific examples from the novel to support your ideas.

1) Desdemona and Milton

2) Tessie and Calliope

3) Milton and Chapter Eleven

4) Lefty and Milton

(see the answer keys)

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