English Blog

Do you know where your at? April 5, 2010

Filed under: Middlesex — writing4english @ 8:58 PM

Detroit is a segregated area. Detroit has always been a mixture of many different types of ethnicities, religions, and backgrounds. Most of these different people fled to Detroit because of the surplus of jobs that the assembly line opened up. This overwhelming migration of people towards Detroit changed the city as a whole. Riots broke out amongst the different “types”. The city made a turn for the worst. Certain parts of Detroit were left untouched by the crime flooding the city. Other parts couldn’t help but become consumed with the poverty and crime. When traveling through the city, making a wrong turn may put you in a completely different part of town. Desdemona experienced this when she was traveling to a job location. “There was no roadblock, no fence. The streetcar didn’t so much as pause as it crossed the invisible barrier, but at the same time in the length of a block the world was different” pg 141, this quote explains a particular barrier, line, or even boundary where a place can go from being very familiar to extremely unfamiliar in a blink of an eye. This “barrier” mentioned could be related to many different things throughout the book. As I mentioned above, Detroit is the main figure. Back then and still to this day Detroit is extremely closed off in certain areas. There are neighborhoods where you know you have to watch out and others you can relax. This boundary is invisible, but it also sort of stands out in a precise way. This can be related to the boundary Cal feels. The boundary between boy and girl, or even the boundary of what is right and what is wrong in his eyes. Another boundary is the boundary Desdemona feels she has over stepped. She has committed incest. Throughout the entire book she feels as if she should be punished for her actions. This boundary is something she lives with the rest of her life. Boundaries either within Detroit, Cal, or Desdemona always seem as if they are going to live with them for the rest of their lives. Will they ever be able to overcome these boundaries and allow the idea of change?

-Geri Gabrielson


6 Responses to “Do you know where your at?”

  1. I can completely relate to your title. My parents constantly ask me “Do you know where you’re at? You can’t go there!” I still feel like from some people’s perspective, Detroit is closed off in some areas.

    ~Alexandria V.

  2. I dont know if anyone will be able to change the city. It takes just one person to make a difference though.


  3. I like how you showed boundaries between not only Detroit but with Cal and Desdemona as well. You did a good job with connecting them. As for the question you asked, I think that if peole step up to help change the city, they could really make a difference.
    -Brittany Cifka

  4. I feel like there is always going to be that invisible “barrier” until people step up and make the effort to tear down that wall.

    -Jordan Houtby

  5. I think if the whole city works together (the bad areas with the good areas) we can all be on the same page and progress as a WHOLE.

    Lori E. Allan

  6. Nice post, Geri. You did something with “boundaries” here that was different than what some other students wrote about “dividing lines”. In other words, boundaries can be between cities or they can be that cultural/societal line you shouldn’t cross. But it seems like the characters of Middlesex cross them anyway?

    ~Jenna G.

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