Middlesex Reading Questions
- Middlesex is set against the backdrop of several historical events: the war between Greece and Turkey, the rise of the Nation of Islam and World War II. How does history shape the lives of the characters in the novel?
- "Watching from the cab, Milton came face-to-face with the essence of tragedy, which is something determined before you're born, something you can't escape or do anything about, no matter how hard you try" (p. 426). According to this definition, is Cal's story a tragedy?
- What is Dr. Luce's role in the novel? Would you describe him as a villain?
- How does Cal's experience reflect on the "nature vs. nurture" debate about gender identity?
- Why does Cal decide to live as a man rather than as a woman?
- The final sentence of the novel reads: "I lost track after a while, happy to be home, weeping for my father, and thinking about what was next" (p. 529). What is next for Cal? Does the author give us reason to believe that Cal's relationship with Julie will be successful?
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