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 does Desdemona admire about the women of Temple No.1?

2. What does the narrator say makes him/her "the most famous hermaphrodite in history"?

3. Why does Jimmy Fioretos call to wake Milton early one morning?

4. What is the only article of modern technology does the superstitious and traditional Desdemona embraces?

5. Which of the following adjectives best describes the scenes of Milton in Navy training?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why does the vigilante who throws a Molotov Cocktail into the Zebra Room yell "Opa!" as he sets the diner on fire?

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

4. Why are do the members of Temple No. 1 raise silkworms and produce silk fabric and clothing?

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

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

7. Describe the events that allow Desdemona and Lefty to depart from Smyrna.

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

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

10. What goes through Tessie's mind as she watches movies at the theatre?

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

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 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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