English Blog

book three and proposal April 13, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — writing4english @ 11:28 AM

In book three of Middlesex, it concentrates a lot on Cal’s gender and identity. “In the film I lean forward and, Aeolian, blow the candles out. In a moment, they reignite. I blow them out again. Same thing happens. That was how our home movies ended, with a prank on my birthday. With candles that had multiple lives.” (Eugenides 227).  First of all i feel like this quote can mean a number of different things. The part where it talks about the prank on his birthday, i feel like this is sort of ironic because a  prank was pulled on his actual “birth day” by him being born with the genetic mutation. The joke was on Cal because he was the one that was being born with the problem. Everyone else did the bad thing by having incestful relationships, but then the prank was pulled on Cal when he was born into the world. Also another thing that i believe is important about this quote is that the candles had multiple lives. This makes me think about Cal and his gender issue between girl and boy, and how it flip flops. The candle is lit, and Cal is a girl, the candle goes out, and he is a boy. This is kind of how his whole life has been growing up. On one hand she wants to fit in with the other girls and she knows that it’s what her family wants, but then on the other hand she is going through puberty and becoming more masculine.  I feel like all through out Cal’s life it is one struggle between choosing what gender he will be most like on that particular day.

-Brittany Cifka


1.)The essay topic that I have chosen will be number 5.  I will use Middlesex as the connection between all of the topics we have discussed so far, Detroit, gender/sex, identity/family, and symbolism.

2.) I will use some of my first blog maybe connecting in  the reverse fairytale part of it in my paper somehow. Also I would like to use my second blog post about everybody trying to escape their past and how it relates to Detroit now trying to escape its past, and on how the past usually ends up catching up to us. I might want to use my gender and sexuality blog to tie in some of the things that i brought up in that blog with Middlesex.

3.) Thesis: Even though Middlesex may seem controversial, there are many aspects of it such as Detroit, gender, identity, and symbolism, that will all peice together and become a very important part of the novel.

^this sucks soooo bad.

4.) Identity and the Life Cycle, Volume 1 – Erik Homburger Erickson: psychology

      Handbook of Human Sexuality –  Benjamin B. Wolman, John Money: psychology


4 Responses to “book three and proposal”

  1. I never thought of it like that. This is a really good way to tie everything together.

    -Jeffrey Senecal

  2. I like how you say that Cal’s gender between male and female “flip flops” and she is uncertain about who she is. And to make it more difficult, she is experiencing puberty too.

    Danielle Harteau

  3. Olivia Says:

    I didn’t even think of the candles in a way of how Cal changes from a girl to a boy. Very interesting!


  4. Brittany,

    First, your blog. Great quote selection and great analysis of it. Nice work.

    Proposal-Sounds good so far. It seems like you just have to figure out how it all comes together. And at least you know your thesis needs work. 🙂

    As you write, your idea of how it will fit together will likely clear up. If not, ask for help. For now, I would suggest adding WHAT makes the book controversial? (And then ask, how is this relevant to what you want to talk about?). Then, the difficult task: HOW do all of these things fit together and WHAT is so important about they way that they fit together? This second part will be the most important. Ask yourself these questions as you continue to read, try to figure out how everything fits together.

    ~Jenna G.

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