English Blog

Book 4 April 20, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — writing4english @ 12:39 PM

Throughout the book of Middlesex, it can be deduced that family has a very large impact on the overall identity of an individual, but in the end, genetic make up seems to have the final say. The impact of family on an individuals identity is first made evident in the case of Lefty and Desdemona, as they felt that they should keep the true identity of their relationship hidden from their family in the first place. I feel that societal pressure had a direct relationship with the response that they assumed they would get from their family. They may have thought that their family would have felt as shocked and appalled about their incestuous relationship just as society normally would with any relationship of the such. Assuming that these feelings are true, it could be said that Lefty and Desdemona had similar feelings in comparison to those that Cal seemed to have had when he was finding out that he was something other than what his family assumed, and raised him as. In both situations, it seems that both parties- Cal and Lefty + Desdemona- may have felt that the reaction they would receive from their family, if they announced their secrets, would be similar to the perceived reaction of society to situations like theirs; These reactions could be anywhere from confusion because of unfamiliarity, to disgust because both cases seem to be unnatural. The fear of disappointing their families may have made it difficult for them to reveal their truths, but in the end, genetics seemed to make it much easier. Facing genetic inevitability, Cal’s transformation to a man made it okay for him to play the male gender role as well. “And so it was I who, upholding an old Greek custom no on remembered anymore, stayed behind on Middlesex, blocking the door, so that Milton’s spirit wouldn’t reenter the house. It was always a man who did this, and now I qualified” (Eugenides 529). With this newfound confidence, it is made evident that in society, and individual’s sex plays a big role in that same person’s gender identity, as Cal was genetically a male, and that could not be denied.

-Jake Morse


One Response to “Book 4”

  1. Very nice, Jake. The pro-genetic stance could be argued, but that’s a good thing, particularly if you were making it a thesis statement.

    ~Jenna G.

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