English Blog

Book 3 April 12, 2010

Filed under: Identity,Middlesex — writing4english @ 4:55 PM

In the “Waxing Lyrical” chapter of book three, Cal’s identity seems to change quite a bit in respect to her physical appearance and the actions taken to respond to this change. After church one Sunday, Cal was informed by Sophie Sassoon that she was starting to get a mustache. Although Cal was not completely surprised by this fact because it was somewhat of a norm in her heritage, her panicked reaction showed concern for her image of womanliness. “A mustache? Was it true? Like Mrs. Drexel? I hurried to the bathroom to see. Mrs. Tsilouras was reapplying lipstick, but as soon as she left I put my face up to the mirror” (Eugenides 308). This point in the chapter seemed to indicate the beginning of womanhood for Cal. I feel that this point in Cal’s life was the most normal feeling she had probably experienced. The feelings that Cal had through this part of the text may not have been clearly and literally stated, but they seem to be very similar to what every other teenager, now matured to adulthood, has been through. I think it could be easily confirmed and agreed upon that every teenager has been through that certain awkward stage in their life. The stage that things which seem to be unnatural and unfamiliar happen to a young body. The stage that brings the most confident, self assured kid a sense of self-consciousness. The thing that I am referring to is puberty. I believe at this part of the writing, Cal began to show her first signs of puberty, and this is probably the thing that she has held most closely in common with all other teenagers in search of their identity. Judging by her own panicked reaction and support from other feminine figures, Cal’s decision to remove the hair as soon as possible tells me that she had began puberty and was turning into a woman, not a man.

-Jake Morse

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3 Responses to “Book 3”

  1. I think you make a good point. I know everyone has been through an awkward stage. I’ll admit mine was 7th and 8th gradee!!!!! 😡
    -Geri Gabrielson

  2. It makes a lot of sense when you talk about how Cal was quick to remove her mustache shows her turning into a woman, not a man. If a young boy was growing a mustache then for them it would the coolest thing, but for a girl that is just crazy. Good post!

    Nayeli Garza.

  3. Nice post, Jake. I would like to echo what Nayeli wrote here. What you do at the end is actually a very complicated thing. It could stand a little further explanation, but it is very interesting.

    It is also interesting to note that heritage can have an effect on the way that gender is perceived. In other words, it is more likely or even acceptable for people of certain cultures or ethnic backgrounds to have mustaches, normally a trait ascribed to the masculine gender in our society.

    ~Jenna G.


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