English Blog

Firstly, Understanding the past March 25, 2010

Filed under: Middlesex,Uncategorized — writing4english @ 11:01 AM
            I find it somewhat hard to relate to Middlesex. The only connection I feel between the book is the aspect of Detroit (though, barely mentioned thus far).It is very interesting to read something you would never read on your own. Gladly, we have been discussing sex, gender, and identity for a while now and I feel that has helped a great deal in my process of understanding of the book.

Someone once told me that in order to understand the present, you must know the past. I feel like this is what Cal is doing. He’s going way back to before he was born and analyzing things that took place within his family. His grandmother Desdemona and her brother Lefty have been mentioned quite a bit. Though they are brother and sister, it almost seems like they secretly have a thing for one another. They seem to be inseparable. “Lefty was one year younger than Desdemona and she often wondered how she survived those first twelve months without him,” it continues to say, “He was her best friend and confidant” (Eugenides 24, 25). They definitely have a connection and bond – at times it seems like it’s a forced bond they must have since their parents passed and they basically only had one another.

It’s hard for them to relate to one another’s idea and desire for a significant other. Though they were like best friends, this was one thing that never really shared with one another. It’s funny how Desdemona would try to give Lucille and Victoria tips on their appearance and almost force Lefty to give them a second look. She would look through old magazines and see how they dressed and looked almost as though that is what a woman was supposed to look like. The keyword is that the magazines were old and that the past definition of what a woman should look like has probably changed a bit, if not dramatically.

None the less, I am not quite sure where the direction of this book is going, but I hope it gets better.

Quote of the day: “Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family.  ~Anthony Brandt

Lori E. Allan


"I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974.”

 (I wish to possibly use this later on.)

3 Responses to “Firstly, Understanding the past”

  1. “In order to understand the present, you must know the past.” I like that becasue it makes a lot of sense. If we all back track a little then we can defiantely better understand the reasons we are the we are. Good post.

    Nayeli Garza.

  2. I agree with your post as well, a lot of things that people do today have been seen before. Knowing and understanding the past is very important and can help shape the events of the future.

    Raymond L.

  3. Lori,
    I understand that you’re having a hard time relating to this right now. [Like…who has a crush on their brother?] Hopefully as the book goes on, you will be able to identify with some of the characters. But even if you can’t relate to them, that’s not necessarily the point, right? Instead, think about how reading and discussing the book expands your knowledge of the things we’ve discussed in class. In turn, then, all of the things we’ve discussed in the class relate to your life in some way. Connecting these things will hopefully make you a better writer. (?)

    You are right on the mark about past and the present. Follow this train of thought throughout the novel. You can use portions of this post, with revision, as long as you make a commitment to stick with it and keep an open mind until at least the end of Book 3.

    ~Jenna G.

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