English Blog

Cal’s Constant Change April 13, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — writing4english @ 1:41 PM

From the moment you open Middlesex you realize that this book is going to take you on an adventure. As you travel from each book learning more of the Stephanides family and how the main character Calliope came into the world.  You learn that she is not your normal kid growing up she is born as a hermaphrodite. Her family chooses for her to be a girl but later she finds out that is not what comes natural to her. Dr. Luce wanted to study Cal as a young girl and stated “that gender identity is established early on in life” (Eugenides 226). This is shown throughout the beginning of Cal’s life, because her mother gives her a doll to play with at a young age. Gender can be reflected on how you are raised as well. Gender is what traits a sex is given based on what is socially acceptable. Girls are taught to play with dolls, while boys are taught to play with cars and outside.  Gender is established early in life because it is something taught from birth and becomes an unconscious behavior to most.  Not only can things become a normal thing to do but sometimes it is chosen for you without your say in it. Cal’s family decides to baptize her and the meaning to her family is “in order to be reborn, you have to be buried first” (Eugenides 221). I feel this is foreshadowing Cal’s future event in her life on how she is going to be born again into a boy. But she still has to figure out how to bury her past; however she does not realize how hard it is to hide from her past because it follows her. Her past follows her because she is born as a hermaphrodite and she can’t change the face that she has female parts but has feelings for girls as well. She is trying to be born again and Clementine helps her learn more about herself. After she starts to learn about herself Clementine moves away but what she learned with her will always be part of her; her past with Clementine will help her discover herself as she moves on in life. Her old past is buried and she is reborn when she realizes that she has feelings for girls when she is in the locker room at school. Being reborn can relate back to Detroit it needs to bury its past first before we can become something new. Our past is following us in Detroit because we have not got over the racial differences in the city and this is why riots were caused.


I’d like to use this in my final


I’ve chosen topic 3 part B which is Metamorphosis or change. I plan on tying the past/downfall of Detroit and Cal into how it is changing or has changed. I intend to use the movie we watched in class as well as To Kill a Mockingbird. 


The past is always part of who we are, it remains the same and is something that we cannot go back and change; however we can change the future by reflecting on the past. In the book Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides the main character Cal changes her identity and it can mirror Detroit’s ability to change as well.

Olivia Lewis


3 Responses to “Cal’s Constant Change”

  1. i agree i believe that our past is catching up with us because of race as well, because so many are afraid to look outside the box and it just so happens detroit is going down in the making of it as well

    -Brittany m.Thomas

  2. You can use this in your final with the stipulation that you do a little editing (i.e., change phrases like “things can become a normal thing”). Also, keep an eye open for how the Obscure Object and Zora help Cal to learn more about herself, too, the way that you describe Clementine.

    I like your thesis, I think that will work. You also did not include if you would use any material beyond your blogs for the final?

    ~Jenna G.

  3. Also, I’m not seeing at the moment how To Kill A Mockingbird fits into this? Maybe explain in your rough draft?


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