English Blog

All Good Things Must Come An End April 19, 2010

Filed under: Middlesex — writing4english @ 7:57 AM

            It seems that a major theme in the book Middlesex is how history, especially family history, impacts your future. In the book, if it wasn’t for the relationship between Desdemona and Left, Milton wouldn’t have existed and he wouldn’t have married Tessie. They wouldn’t have had Calliope. The book focuses a lot on the history of the family and spends quite a lot of time explaining just how everything came to be. This does make sense thought, because it is obvious that Calliope didn’t just miraculous come about out of nowhere. He gives a back story of his family, but most importantly he gives a story of how he came to be who he is. Cal’s family history is different from many because there are quite a few twists and turns in his story, but overall the history is of a family they really cared for one another, even if Chapter Eleven ran off. The 5-Alpha-Reductase gene carried through over 250 years of family history, only to show its face and true identity in Calliope. In a way, Calliope was doomed before she or her parents were even thought of, she didn’t know it. That random recessive gene paired with a matching one only to strengthen and carry the gene along further. Callie lived 14 years without a clue of her problems, even though it was obvious that everything was right with her during puberty. No period, no breast, a voice that grew deeper, and height that great larger. These things should have set off alarms, but they didn’t. Both Callie and her parents continued to go on about life without even paying any attention to the condition at hand. They assumed that things would straighten out on their own. I wonder what would have happen if Callie wouldn’t have been running away and ran into that tractor causing her to have to go to the doctor. Would anyone have found out about her condition? After finding out, she was treated at many hospitals and clinics with eyes of wow and disbelief. Not saying that it had never been seen before, but it was definitely a rare case that surely amazed the doctors and nurses. In front of Dr. Luce, Callie put on a cover that she knew wasn’t her. She knew she was in love with the Object and not the Object’s brother, even if they did share a sexual experience. She put on a front as to appear the way that she was supposed to appear. She was afraid because she didn’t want the doctor to find something that was wrong with her, but they did. That 5-Alpha-Reductase gene was visible and screaming for attention, which the doctors were sure to give. After the diagnosis was given to Callie’s parents, they still loved their daughter just as much as they did before. They wanted to help her in anyway that they could, but for Callie she knew being “fixed” as a girl wasn’t what she wanted. So, she packed her bags in her dad’s suitcase, leaving behind ever essence of femininity that she had along with a note for her parents. In her note she was clear to say, “I am not a girl. I’m a boy.” (Eugenides 439). Off there daughter went. Then comes Cal. Cal lives his life from here on out as a male. Cal had an opportunity to experience something that many people don’t get to and that is to live from sides of the sex spectrum. Cal has something special, the ability “communicate between the genders, to see not with the monovision of one sex but in the stereoscope of both” (Eugenides 268). After running away and living life in a new place, where people are unaware of the circumstances of his genetics, tragedy strikes. Cal returns back to where he started as Calliope and is accepted. In the end, the history of the family comes out and comes to an end. The family’s history and strength was what held the family together and Desdemona revealed that she and Lefty were brother and sister. It seemed that everyone in the family had some kind of secret or simply something holding them back. In the end, the story had to move on and all the secrets had to be revealed. The 5-Alpha-Reductase gene was in the family for 250 so years, 3 generations, and was the gene that kept the family together.

-Arielle K.

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4 Responses to “All Good Things Must Come An End”

  1. I love the way you were able to sum everything up, while connecting the true importance of family, because i do think that is one of the main themes of this story.

  2. Family is definitely one of the main themes in this story. I found is amazing that after everything that happened, the family was able to go back to basics and make it seem like Cal had been a boy the entire time.

    -Jordan Houtby

  3. Your blogs on this book have been consistently good, Arielle. And this is no exception. History, and family history, are integral elements of this book. Nice work.

    ~Jenna G.


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