English Blog

Welcome back silver spoon. April 21, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — writing4english @ 12:01 PM

I like how family is a reoccurring theme in Middlesex. Family is something almost everyone can relate to or at least have some knowledge as to what family is. Throughout the lives of Cal’s family, someone was always there for someone else. All the way through the craziness the family endured, no one was ever left in the dark. Cal’s family was accepting and loving, always. Incest was an interesting topic in “Book 1” but now I think it is special how they kept the love they had for one another in the family. When Cal was undergoing the studies with Dr. Luce, Tessie and Milton were so encouraging. Granted they were just as confused as Cal they never once allowed Cal to think there was something terribly wrong with him. I think Tessie was more afraid than ever about what Dr. Luce had to say but that only brought her closer to her son, Cal. For as long as family will be around then so will traditions. I think family itself is a tradition. The closeness of family comes from traditions and old tales. “She was smiling. And then she said, ‘My spoon was right’” (Eugenides 527). It may not have been seen at first but Desdemona was right all along. She was always right when it came to her spoon. She was the one who predicted what each family had in store. Desdemona moved to Detroit with her husband to start a family and when her son was ready to start a family Desdemona was there foreshadow the life her grandchild.

*I would like to use some of this for my final essay.

Nayeli Garza.

 

book 4 April 20, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — writing4english @ 1:02 PM

Though they had been through alot together, cal seemed throughout the book to always be able to be dependent on them. Even when he was kidnapped Milton found his way to get to him, and when Chapter 11 went to get Cal from the jail, they are always there to help one another. throughout the beginning i started to feel as though cal was alone. eSPECIALLY WITH THE WAY THAT she/he was. It seemed as if in the beginning no one understood exasctly what cal had been going through. Their family kind of reminds me of my family. They dont understand all the time or may not understand it all but if you were to call or need anything they would be quick to be there. The death of milton kind of reminds me of my grandmother and grandather, it was kind of unexpected. Though most of the time you dont want it to all good things seem to come to an end. The love of the family or the people that cal could really count on seemed to be the very people who taught all they could in the lessons that they did in some sort. Cal began to finally realize the person that he was and why he was the person that he was towards the end though throughout the story it gives you the reasons leading up till then.

bRITTANY m tHOMAS

 

Book 4

Filed under: Uncategorized — writing4english @ 12:39 PM

Throughout the book of Middlesex, it can be deduced that family has a very large impact on the overall identity of an individual, but in the end, genetic make up seems to have the final say. The impact of family on an individuals identity is first made evident in the case of Lefty and Desdemona, as they felt that they should keep the true identity of their relationship hidden from their family in the first place. I feel that societal pressure had a direct relationship with the response that they assumed they would get from their family. They may have thought that their family would have felt as shocked and appalled about their incestuous relationship just as society normally would with any relationship of the such. Assuming that these feelings are true, it could be said that Lefty and Desdemona had similar feelings in comparison to those that Cal seemed to have had when he was finding out that he was something other than what his family assumed, and raised him as. In both situations, it seems that both parties- Cal and Lefty + Desdemona- may have felt that the reaction they would receive from their family, if they announced their secrets, would be similar to the perceived reaction of society to situations like theirs; These reactions could be anywhere from confusion because of unfamiliarity, to disgust because both cases seem to be unnatural. The fear of disappointing their families may have made it difficult for them to reveal their truths, but in the end, genetics seemed to make it much easier. Facing genetic inevitability, Cal’s transformation to a man made it okay for him to play the male gender role as well. “And so it was I who, upholding an old Greek custom no on remembered anymore, stayed behind on Middlesex, blocking the door, so that Milton’s spirit wouldn’t reenter the house. It was always a man who did this, and now I qualified” (Eugenides 529). With this newfound confidence, it is made evident that in society, and individual’s sex plays a big role in that same person’s gender identity, as Cal was genetically a male, and that could not be denied.

-Jake Morse

 

Family will always be there

Filed under: Uncategorized — writing4english @ 12:31 PM

As Callie learns that she was born as a boy she tries to run away from her past. But what she doesn’t realize is that her past follows her and it is not her fault she was born both a boy and girl. The chromosome defiency because Lefty and Desdemona had children when they were brother and sister. Also Milton and Tessie were also cousins making the chances of genetic mutations higher caused Callie to turn out the way she did. Callie runs from something that will always follow her. She ends up in California and meets Zora who happens to have the same genetic mutation as her, “though XY like me, she had developed along female lines” (Eugenides 487). She learns a lot in the fact that this type of mutation has been around since Plato. As she lives with Zora she becomes somebody older than she really is. A few days go by and the police eventually find Callie and she calls home from jail. This is the moment when she knew her family would always be on her side and that she was really missing them. But the cost of having her family come find her was Milton’s life. Her dad cared about her so much that he gave up his own life for her. This shows how her family will stand by her no matter what even during the time when they found out she was born a boy. Also they stood by her during the time when she had run away. This is a true family bond that they were there for her no matter how hard it was. Callie changed her identity to try and hide from it but it wasn’t long before she couldn’t take it anymore.

Olivia

 

Stephanides Family Identity

Filed under: Middlesex — writing4english @ 12:26 PM

The family history of the past three generations before Cal was more than significant in the role of determining his future. As a result of their decisions, Cal’s grandparents and parents caused Cal to face a lifetime filled with various emotions. Although Cal was apart of the Stephanides family he was much different, not only sexually but in his outlook towards life and those around him. There are many examples in the text that show how Cal was viewed by others but I thought that the most significant were those including his parents. In book two Cal describes his sexual differences and also tells of how Milton saw it in his eyes as he says, ” My father was even more squeamish. In the rare times he diapered me or gave me a bath, Milton studiously averted his eyes”. (Eugenedies 226) I believe this helps to explain the avoiding of reality that both Milton and Tessie portray throughout the text. Another important area of the novel is discussed in book four when Cal states “My parents had at first refused to believe the emergency room doctor’s wild claim about my anatomy.” (Eugenides 401) Cal’s parents had chosen to deny the truth, just as they had been for so many years suppressing reality. Milton and Tessie were fully conscious of their decision when they chose to have children just as Lefty and Desdemona, but each were blinded by emotions and the control of what they thought was true love. Cal was so much different than everyone else I think they were  confused on who he really was. He was born with  both genital characteristics but Cal was still a real person, therefore the choice is to look beyond what our eyes can see and then we can understand what lies inside.

Raymond L.

 

Book Four

Filed under: Uncategorized — writing4english @ 12:18 PM

In Book Four, the final part of the novel, of Jeffery Eugendies’ “Middlesex”, Cal leaves his family and runs away to Berlin because they were going to “cut him up” (Eugenides 516). He is finally on his own and sees himself as “a new creation” (445). Cal’s once feminine side is starting to disappear and his masculinity arises. He “adopted a swagger” that “lots of adolescent boys put on, trying to be manly” and “rarely smiled” (449). At the same time however, at this point in his life he still did not understand everything he was feeling and now and then “fell out of character” (449).  While he was in Berlin, his father drowned and Cal goes back to go to the funeral. Even though he doesn’t go to the funeral because he feels like he’d be a distraction, his family is glad he is home. I think Cal relates to his family members because throughout most of their lives, like Desdemona, he wasn’t sure of himself. He was never confident until he became who he was meant to be- a man. At the end of the novel, he has finally begun to figure out who he is and who he always has been. It seems like deep down inside he always felt he was a man more than a woman. Desdemona as well was not confident in herself until she was married to Lefty. She truly felt beautiful in her corest. Cal felt transformed when he got his hair cut in Berlin. I guess Desdemona’s silver spoon was right all along.

Danielle Harteau

I would like to use some of my points about Cal in this blog for my final essay.

 

man to woman, woman to man.

Filed under: Uncategorized — writing4english @ 12:01 PM

Throughout the book Callie related more to her mother, than to her father. Her mother seemed to understand her needs and help her through her hardtimes when she was between genders. In book 4, it is all about fourteen year old Callie going to a clinic to complete her transformation from a girl to a boy. Her parents took her, and felt it was the right thing to do at the time. Little did they know, Callie wanted no part of the operation soon to follow. She ran away and made a new life and disguised herself with short hair and boyish figure. Her parents were distraught and blamed Dr. Luce who was meeting with Callie regularly and who would perform the operation. Callie’s parents claimed that Dr. Luce must have scared Callie. Milton and Tessie did everything possible to get Callie back. Callie finally came back when Milton died, and nothing from then on will ever be the same. She came back to question Desdemona and her family for their past, and her present today. I feel that throughout the book, Callie related most to her mother because her mother tried to understand her, and not question her as an experiment. Milton seemed more cautious around Callie and didn’t really know how to react to her. It wasn’t until later in the book when Milton and Callie began to connect. Milton treated her like a human being, and loved her none the less. Tessie blamed herself later on for Callie’s problem. “Was it her fault? Should she have resisted Milton when he tried to bend nature to his will?” (Eugenides 423). Desdemona may have caused it. Her and Lefty with the incest issue. Milton and Tessie being cousins. What truly caused the genetic mixup in Callie? It was all of that combined. They all contributed to Callie’s Chromosomal messup. I feel that Callie is her own person, just like you or I aren’t anyone else. Callie isn’t like anyone, because nobody she relates to is like her. She tries to relate to other people, but there is always something they cannot relate to. Her running away was the last time she was ever milton and tessie’s daughter. She is now a he, and somewhat happy with her decision.

-Caitlin Tefend