English Blog

Book3: Cal’s identity April 13, 2010

Filed under: Middlesex — writing4english @ 11:03 AM

Starting within the first ‘chapter’ of book 3 is a great paragraph that describes right off the bat who she identifies herself as at first. This Dr. Luce guy, uses one of their home family videos that Milton would shoot, particularly at family gatherings. “This was the thirty-five-second segment that, Luce insisted, proved out his theory that gender identity is established early on in life” (Eugenides 226). The previous quote caught my eye and then as I read on it states, “Dr. Luce showed me, to tell me who I was.” (same pg and paragraph). I took that as it was living proof to her that she did grow up as a girl and everything “girl-like” was forced upon her very young. The quote from the book that supports this is, “My mother handing me a baby doll. I take the baby and hug it to my chest. Putting a toy bottle to the baby’s lips, I offer it milk.” So no one yet has any idea about the changes later to come obviously, but this persuasion of her mother, handing her a baby doll and not a race car, definitely tells us more about the gender she identified herself with right off the bat. She was born a girl, or so they thought, and was clearly forced to play with girl toys. I also remember somewhere when she was dressed in all pink lace and fringe and just out right girlie. One other thing in Book 3 that I found ironic was when Cal (now a guy and in Germany I believe) was with Julie, their conversation about how she thought he was gay was interesting to me. I found it kind of meaningful that she thought that about him because of his previous gender and how she had no idea. It just made sense to me that she thought something completely different about him, but in reality did not know the whole truth. But then again it did say she has this happen with 2-3 other gay men that were attracted to her or something like that. Cal does not want to identify himself as a homosexual because it is not who or what he really is. Another gender identification that I laughed about at first while reading was, “He took Lefty’s order and winked. ‘And what’ll the Mrs. have?’ ‘I’m not the Mrs.!’ ‘You’re not?’ ” This I found funny because right off the bat this person is assuming Cal as a girl just as her mother did with handing her girl-like things. When she corrects him and tells him she’s not, this is where you could say “little do you know about what is to come of her future…” and she puts it out there and that made me connect the two, thinking that there is some change to come in her life.

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3 Responses to “Book3: Cal’s identity”

  1. sorry i forget every time to put my name!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :O

    —Sam Laird

  2. I find Dr. Luce’s theory pretty intriguing and maybe partially true, but I don’t believe that the toys you play with when your young are a big influence on your identity later on in life.

    -Jake Morse

  3. Interesting post, Sam. Think, though, about what this means for the rest of us and gender. So, if baby dolls were “forced” on Cal, despite the fact that he is intersexed, does this mean they would not have been “forced” on him if he were a girl? Or do you see that as the role a girl plays, and therefore it isn’t “forced” but natural? In other words, are dolls and trucks forced on girls and boys or is the assumption that they are only forced if it is not matching up with the right sex/gender?

    ~Jenna G.


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