Middlesex is a book that seems to describe its characters by their bodies. Whether it’s how they feel about themselves or what their body feels during certain times in the novel. The two main characters thus far, Desdemona and Lefty, have had some interesting thoughts about their own bodies, the bodies of strangers, and the bodies of each other. Lefty was the type of man who went to the city to find his pleasure with girls. He had sex with a lot of them until Desdemona reminded him that she was supposed to find him a good Greek girl for him to marry as a dying wish from their mother. He tried out two of the village bachelorettes but there was just disappointment due to Desdemona making them look like lingerie models. As much as Lefty wanted those girls in the city, he wasn’t looking for it as a wife. This explains that as desirable and pretty as those girls are in a magazine, most guys would use that female’s body for nothing but one night of pleasure. Desdemona has never been comfortable in her own body because she didn’t have the most appealing figure. Yet, Lefty still found every part of her attractive.
Eventually, Lefty decides that Desdemona is the girl for him. Living in this day in age, that stands out as strange and even just plain wrong. Even Desdemona thinks that it’s a bad idea when Lefty suggests the idea. “How about you?” “Too bad I’m your sister.” “You’re not only my sister. You’re my third cousin, too. Third cousins can marry.” (Eugenides 38-39) This quote also describes the opinion of incest in that generation. It’s more frowned upon now than it was back then. According to this quote, it was okay for third cousins to marry each other. It was considered more normal and maybe even more convenient to some families to marry within each other. Unfortunately, when incest occurs, it’s more likely for there to be a genetic disorder. Hence the reason Cal or Calliope will have a genetically mutated 5th chromosome and has the issue of whether to be Cal or Calliope.
I would like to use some of this in my final essay.