Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides Essay

1911 Words May 2nd, 2009 8 Pages
INTERTWINED BEGINNINGS: Middlesex is an outline of the life of Calliope Stephanides who grew to the age of fourteen believing that she was a girl with unnatural thoughts for the same sex. As puberty takes hold of her friends and classmates, both Calliope and her family begin to worry about the growing gap between her and the average teenage girl; this marks the beginning of a new life for Calliope who finds she is really a he. Under the new name, Cal, this individual struggles with identity management as he traces his transformation from female to male and the genetic condition, beginning with his paternal grandparents that caused it. “I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smog less Detroit day in January of …show more content…
It is evident that the once popular thought that women are evil has been cast aside for a majority of the Greek population. However, the conversations or actions that have held symbolic significance throughout history is embedded deep within the Stephanides family and their Greek-American lifestyle. Calliope’s struggle with her gender identity from a young age may not have been entirely avoided if Dr. Philobosian would have discovered her mutation, or even if Tessie would have spoken more openly about what it means to be a women or a man. However, the understanding of Calliope’s condition could have shielded the family from shock when after fourteen years Calliope became Cal. The family could have raised the child with an open mind and let Cal’s gender come out naturally instead of by influence. After being confronted with the truth about their child, Callie's parents, Tessie and Milton, take her to New York to meet with Dr. Luce, the genetics specialist. In Dr. Luce’s study of the mutation, where he found Cal’s true sex, he states, “In speech, mannerisms, and dress, the subject manifests a feminine gender identity and role, despite a contrary chromosomal status. It is clear by this that sex of rearing, rather than genetic determinants, plays a greater role in the establishment of gender identity”. (Middlesex, p.437).

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