In society today, we grow up with the knowledge that it is very innappropriate to have sexual realations with a brother or a sister or any blood related family member at that. Not only is it innappropriate, but it can also cause some very serious genetic mutations in the DNA of their future children. This is otherwise known as incest. In the novel, Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides shows an example of an incestful relationship through the narrators family tale. Calliope Helen Stephanides tells the story of how his family comes to America starting out with his grandparents, Desdemona and Lefty Stephanides. Now what seems to be a story about a brother and sister growing up together and working their way to come to America, actually turns into a romantic love story between the two. Without having parents to take care of them, Lefty and Desdemona practically raised each other. They played together as children and they worked together as adults in a cocoon business. At first Lefty would have never thought of Desdemona in that way even when he would occasionaly see her change. As they got older and as Desdemona wanted Lefty to settle down with a nice greek girl, they started to realize that the had real feelings for one another, and they decided to pursue those feelings even being brother and sister.
Now normally I would be really wierded out by the fact that a brother and sister were in love with each other, but with the way that the author presented it, I actually found myself being okay with it. They had no one else and were lonely on top of that so it was bound for something to happen between them. Also the fact that they had to escape from their hometown of Bithynois to hide out in Smyrna away from the Turks, made them a lot closer and made them fall in even more in love. They even were able to make it out on a boat to America, where they devised a plan to not know who the other person was, and to “meet” each other, and then fall madly in love like two strangers meeting for the first time. Instead of getting to know each other, becoming familiar with likes and dislikes, Desdemona and Lefty tried to defamiliarize themselves with each other. (Eugenides, 71-72) It was the perfect reverse fairytale and they were successful. Except for the fact that they were related…maybe thats just the way the Greeks like it 🙂
p.s. Jenna, i might want this in my paper:) or at least some parts?