English Blog

Beginnings.. April 13, 2010

Filed under: Middlesex — writing4english @ 12:57 PM

There are so many different aspects just from the start of Book Three that I feel could be discussed to examine the identity of Cal. That quote that stood out the most to me as it says on page 221, “I was dimly aware that this beginning was somehow indicative of the rest of my life. My family were around me; I was in the hands of God. But I was in my own, separate element, too submerged in rare sensations, pushing evolution’s envelope.” I feel that this quote helps to bring out the various emotions and thoughts that were running through her mind as she grew to become an entirely different person. I found the elements that were brought out within the same chapter to be of significance as well; the idea of hair and growth, along with the element of baptism that was forced into Cal’s growing history, and also the thoughts of shame and pride that she faced with other people. Calliope grew from infancy to a young girl and then into manhood, just as with hair, it grows and grows even though we can make changes to alter its appearance it is still the same hair. Cal changed who she was and hid under layers of different personalities and characteristics to keep others from knowing too much of who she actually was. I believe that Cal’s baptism was important in that it represents her Greek background and therefore represents where she has come from even with her sexual disoreintation. Milton was forced to let Cal be baptized just as Cal was forced to accept an identity she had not asked for. Lastly, Cal goes on to say in “Opa” that “What is it like to feel free like that? I mean my body is so much better than theirs…But I could never saunter around in public like that”. (pg.233) This quote shows the pride that Cal felt within himself towards those around him, that his body was made different but also better and that therefore Cal should be proud of who he was. Also it explains the fear that was felt if he were to make such a statement in public. Cal’s identity is complex and obviously very different from those around him but that is only his sex, everyone is this society experiences happiness, fear, joy and embarrassment but Cal’s emotions were hidden under things that one could not see.

Raymond L.


2 Responses to “Beginnings..”

  1. I think everyone tends to hide from the world, and be someone they aren’t. good point!

    -Caitlin Tefend

  2. I like this a lot, Ray. I also like the phrase “sexual disorientation”. Its an interesting one. And that baptism section is one of the more unusual passages in the book, I think.

    ~Jenna G.

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