Throughout the first book of Middlesex, the narrator aimed to take the reader on a twisted journey through the beginning of his grandparents’ adult lives and inferred that their decisions may have been a main cause of him being a hermaphrodite. Calliope’s grandmother, Desdemona Stephanides, had a brother named Eleutherios (“Lefty”) Stephanides; Since they were young children they shared a room together, played together, ate together, and did everything together. Some unfortunate event ended up taking their parents lives, forcing Desdemona to grow up before her time and take care of her younger brother, while he looked out for her as well. This put a lot of stress on their developing minds and forced them to question themselves and doubt a variety of things about their lives. After a fight with her brother Desdemona asked herself, “What was the matter with God? Why had He taken her parents and left her to worry about her brother?”-Pg. 29. Through this sort of stress on their minds as well as having no one else around to help out in their lives, all that Desdemona and Lefty could do was rely more on each other. With this- along with the pressure of the culture of Greeks at this time getting married and having families in their teens and early twenties- Desdemona and Lefty began to feel that they would never have anyone else to care for them, or for them to care for. This ultimately led to both of them having feelings for each other that were more than just sibling love. Both Lefty and Desdemona knew that the feelings that they were having about each other were wrong. This was made evident throughout book one by Desdemona constantly reminding herself that it wasn’t okay for a brother and sister to have that kind of relationship and by Lefty praying to god (on page 31) not to let him be ‘this way’, claiming he didn’t know why he felt the way he did because he knew that it was not normal, and even accusing God that he was made the way he was because of God himself. The fact that both parties knew that it was not the right thing to do did not stop Lefty from eventually taking Desdemona’s hand in marriage and engaging in an Incestuous relationship, which, further down the family tree led to a common recessive gene becoming active and making their grandchild a hermaphrodite. Knowing what they were doing was wrong and still continue to do it was an effect of the stress and pressure in their lives from losing their parents at an early age, cultural pressure, and their fear and fight for their lives which caused them to have to have the feeling of someone being there for them permanently.
I might want to use some of this in my final essay but I’m not sure that it requires permission because I am going to do a lot of rewording and hopefully find the sources where I got a lot of my information. Yep.