In life, people often get confused about their identity. They seek to “find themselves” and make significant changes in their lives to become the person they wish to be. Personality and identity is easy enough to change, however, what about your gender? Gender is not easy to change. You’re either a girl, or you’re a boy, sometimes, you’re even both. So what if you were a girl, and were meant to be a boy? That procedure isn’t as simple as changing your clothes, or talking in a more sophisticated way. In the book Middlesex, we come face to face with the situation of gender and of a hermaphrodite who wants nothing more than to just be normal. The book faces issues of incest, gender decisions, and problems within a family.
The main characters in the book are Desdemona Stephanides, Eleutherios Stephanides, Tessie Stephanides, Milton Stephanides, and Calliope Stephanides. Calliope is the character who has gender issues. She claims to have a male brain, but was assumed to be a female. She states that she will be “reborn.” Being a hermaphrodite causes her great shame later in life, and now looking back on how it all started, she notices her fate early on before she was conceived. Her gender is in trouble, and she is not sure how to escape it. “I was born as a girl….and then born again as a teenage boy” (Eugenides 3). She eventually realizes that identity is easier to change than gender. She isn’t just as girl; she has the mindset of a boy. Her parents Tessie and Milton wanted so badly to have a girl. They try everything in the book, even down to Milton convincing Tessie that male sperm are slower than female. They are so desperate to feel the joy of a girl that they try everything and anything to make sure that a baby girl is in their future.
ps- i would like this to be considered for my essay 🙂