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 do following Lefty's death?

2. Why does Jimmy Zismo need to smuggle alcohol into the U.S. from Canada?

3. What does Desdemona's mother say is critical for encourage silk worms to produce good silk?

4. In "Opa!", why is Milton suddenly around the house more than at the diner?

5. What does the narrator say his purpose for telling this story?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Throughout Middlesex, the setting of the story changes several times. Select one of the settings of the story: Turkey in the early 1900's, Detroit in the 1920's, Detroit/Grosse Point in the 1960's or Berlin in modern day.

1) Describe what happens in the story while the story is set in location and time period

2) Discuss the influence of the setting (place and time) on the story

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

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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