English Blog

Ties within. April 19, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — writing4english @ 8:56 PM

In the end of the book, a lot of interesting things are revealed. We realize that anger and jealously can build up inside one man to the point of no return. We also realize that even though those who cannot remember clearly can remember just enough to come to certain conclusions and be forgiven for old sins. Throughout Middlesex certain symbols and foreshadowing are revealed allowing one to assume that these events would occur, but the truth is once they were revealed we never seen it coming. This can be related to how none of the Stephanides ever seen the complications of Cal Stephanides coming their way.  In this book everything ties together in the end, everything relates. Just like the symbols throughout the book relate. Throughout the entire book of Middlesex symbolism is used to illustrate many different points. One example of this symbolism is when Cal finds out that he indeed is genetically a boy. Throughout Cal’s life up to this point, while he was known as Calliope, he kept his hair long. He knew he was awkward and not like the rest of the girls, therefore he used his hair to hide his faults. Once he decided to go along with being a boy, he decided it was time to get rid of his hair. He chopped his hair off, in a way this symbolized his change from going from Calliope to Cal or from boy to girl. This quote shows how much it truly represented his change “And in the mirror I didn’t see myself. Not the Mona Lisa with the enigmatic smile any longer. Not the shy girl with the tangled black hair in her face, but instead her fraternal twin brother.”(445)Hair can be tied back into Cal’s grandmother Desdemona. When Lefty and Desdemona were coming into America, they chopped her braids off. Desdemona’s braids were all she had left from her old country. This symbolized how her life was changing and how her new life in America was beginning. The symbol of hair isn’t the only symbol that can be tied into more than one are. Cal’s suits that he wears tie back into how he hid behind his hair, now he hides behind his suits. A suit is the first piece of clothing that Cal buys after his transformation. This allows him to feel semi-normal. He buys these suits, so as to appear to be male on the outside, when he knows deep down what is truly going on. Cal’s life is illuminated by symbols that help show the relations from boy to girl and help the reader better understand why he does what he does. Most of the symbols and events throughout the entire book of Middlesex can be presented in completely different parts of the book but relate perfectly together and tie in both topics.

-Geri Gabrielson

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7 Responses to “Ties within.”

  1. I like your sense of symbolism in your essay. Your essay has clarified the use of symbolism in middlsex for me. thanks

    kevin cunningham

  2. I love your connection with hair throughout the book. I like how a lot of things end up tieing together at the end. Good post!

    Nayeli Garza.

  3. I agree there is a ton of symbolism in this book and it dominates and explains Cal’s life.

    ~Alexandria V.

    • I like how you related everything together at the end and figured some of the symbolism that was hiding in this book. I also agree with you on how the family never sees Cals situation coming. They were so suprised when they found out but i guess Cal just kept everything so secretive that no one was going to find out. The past always catches up with you.

      Brittany Cifka

  4. I thought the way you tied the book together was really creative. It actually helped me understand things a little better because you put it into perspective for me. 🙂 good work
    -Breanna

  5. I forgot about the braids. great quote and description.

    Nick Vecellio

  6. Yes, Geri, good, good. You didn’t ask, but you can use this in your essay if you like. With regard to more “ties”, check out the yarn symbolism on page 64 and the Chinese Princess’s silk thread on 63. Nice post.

    ~Jenna G.


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