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 did Sourmelina's parents send her to America?

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

3. What is ironic about the fact that Milton decides to join the Navy instead of the Army?

4. Who does Desdemona over hear through the heating vents in the Silk Room of the Temple No. 1?

5. Why does the narrator say that the riots were "the best thing that ever happened to us"?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Describe Marcus Wyxzewixard Challouehliczilczese Grimes.

3. Describe the village of Bithynios.

4. How do Dr. Philobosian's and Uncle Pete's views on conception differ?

5. Describe Desdemona's appearance.

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

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

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

9. Describe Calliope's baptism.

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

By presenting a main character who is both male and female, Jeffrey Eugenides encourages readers to question generally held beliefs about gender identity. What is the author trying to say about gender? Is it based on biology, culture or both? Do you agree or disagree with his viewpoint? Why? Cite several specific examples from the novel to support your ideas.

Essay Topic 2

In Middlesex, a few minor characters have a major impact on the story line. Select one of the following minor characters to analyze: Father Mike, Jimmy Zismo, Chapter Eleven or Sourmelina. Discuss:

1) The personality (character traits) of this character.

2) The relationship between this minor character and the major characters in the story.

3) The impact of this character on the story line--How does s/he influence the overall story line? How would the story be different if this character was removed?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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