This sample essay on Middlesex Analysis reveals arguments and important aspects of this topic. Read this essay’s introduction, body paragraphs and the conclusion below.
Linsay Gonzalez Mrs. Bean AP English, Period 4 02 January 2010 Middlesex “Poseidon, enraged, caused Mino’s wife Pasiphae to be smitten with love for a bull. How the child of that union, Asterius, came out with a bull’s head attached to a human body…The Minotaur appeared…He growled; drums pounded; chorus girls screamed and fled. The Minotaur pursued, and of course he caught them, each one, and devoured her bloodily, and dragged her pale, defenseless body deeper into the maze” (Minotaurs, 108). – Allusion
Jeffrey Eugenides was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1960. His father was American but his grandparents were Greek and his mother was from Irish decent. He drew some of his own experiences and incorporated them into the novel to make it more realistic and credible (Keenan). There are a lot of similarities between the main character and Eugenides like both attended public school and then transferred to private. They both state that they attended to Stanford and as older men they fall in love with a Japanese-American woman (Bloomsbury).
A remarkable connection is the Obscure Object. In an interview, Eugenides remarks that during college he and his friend were in love with a mysterious woman and they named her the Obscure Object (Weich). As a fourteen year old, Callie has a crush on a classmate whom she also calls the Obscure Object and she is the cause of Callie’s life to finally spiral out of control. Eugenides admits to placing himself in Callie’s shoes in order to make the next step (Weich). Imagery: It is 1922 and the Turks have invaded Greece.
Middlesex Obscure Object
They take over Smyrna and are destroying everything in their path without compassion. Coming back from delivering a baby, “it didn’t occur to Dr. Philobosian that the twisted body he stepped over in the street belonged to his younger son. He noticed only that his front door was open. In the foyer, he stopped to listen. There was only silence…Toukhie was sitting in the sofa, waiting for him. Her head had fallen backward as though in hilarity, the angle opening the wound so that a section of windpipe gleamed…Dr.
Philobosian took a step and slipped, then noticed a trail of blood leading down the hallway… He followed the trail into the master bedroom, where he found his two daughters…Rose’s hand reached out toward her sister as though to adjust the silver ribbon across her forehead” (An Immodest Proposal; 60-61). The images it describes are gruesome and despairing. Just the idea of him not knowing that he stepped over his son without recognizing him is unbearable. This passage expresses a disturbing and melancholy tone.
Disturbing because of the cold blooded way the soldiers killed them and melancholy because the doctor lost every single person he loved. Diction: Callie is spending a week with the Obscure Object in her summer home and during the night, instinct and desire take over her, motivating her to experiment with the emotions she’s been feeling. As she approaches the Obscure Object she reminiscences, “tiny muscles in my flank, muscles I hadn’t known I possessed, suddenly made themselves available. They propelled me millimeter by millimeter across the sheets.
The old bedsprings gave me trouble. As I tried nonchalantly to advance, they called out ribald encouragement. They cheered, they sang. I kept stopping and starting” (The Gun on the Wall; 383). This passage contributes to theme. Callie thinks she is discovering her sexuality but she is really discovering her gender identity. The diction gives a tone of amusement and self-discovering. Syntax: When the Turks invaded Greece in 1922, they not only ransacked, raided, and vandalized the city but they also burned everything in their path.
The omniscient Calliope points out that “the smell of things burning that aren’t meant to burn wafts across the city: shoe polish rat poison, toothpaste, piano strings, hernia trusses, baby cribs, Indian clubs. And hair and skin. By this time, hair and skin” (An Immodest Proposal; 57). First the author gives you a list of normal household things burning but instead of adding a comma after “Indian clubs” he ends with a period. This is to setup up a more important idea. The omniscient narrator says it with a casual tone and with the period there is a pause leaving a little doubt.
It is to give a more lasting impact. By repeating the statement, the narrator has an assertive tone, affirming what is happening true. Characterization: Beginning- Over the summer of sixth grade, most of Callie’s classmates have “developed” but she doesn’t pay much attention assuming that her moment will arrive. A year later she is still the same and in an impetuous moment, a frantic Calliope throws “a tantrum-edged scream. Twelve-year-old feet running up the stairs, while Tessie called out, ‘don’t be so dramatic, Callie.
We’ll get you a bra if you want. ’ Up into my bedroom, where after locking the door, I pulled off my shirt before the mirror to see…that my mother was right. Nothing! Nothing at all to hold up anything. And I burst into tears of frustration and rage” (The Mediterranean Diet; 288). This shows Callie as immature, confused, and with low self-esteem. At a young age, Calliope becomes enraged because she doesn’t understand why her body isn’t developing. She is perplexed and desperate because she is at an age when the only important thing is to belong.
Middle- After discovering that she is a male and is offered a cosmetic surgery to be able to keep living as a girl, Callie or Cal, decides to run away and renounce that life. After almost a year of disappearing Cal reflects that “unlike other so-called male pseudo-hermaphrodites who have been written about in the press, I never felt out of place being a girl. I still don’t feel entirely at home among men. Desire made me cross over to the other side, desire and the facticity of my body…Biology gives you a brain. Life turns it into a mind” (Hermaphroditus; 479).
At fourteen years old, Calliope has matured and understands what goes on in her body. He is able to make reflections on his decisions. Cal is brave because after running away not only does he worry about money, but also has to forget being a girl and learn the ways of men. He now takes responsibility of his actions instead of letting his parents choose who he will be. Cal is attempting to accept who he is. End: Cal has never had any real relationship because just when things were going to get serious he fled before any woman even got near to know the truth about him.
With Julie he to a plunge. Cal remarks, “I was trying to keep up the banter. I was also taking off my clothes. So was Julie. It was like jumping into cold water. You had to do it without thinking too much. We got under the covers and held each other, petrified, happy” (The Last Stop; 514). Cal finally accepts himself as a male but with both male and female genitalia. He has not had surgery. He has accepted himself but he is afraid of rejections, of being seen as a monster, of being treated differently. With Julie, he has proved that he is finally at peace with his body.
Tone: “Every morning a great wall of fog descends upon the city of San Francisco. It begins far out sea. It forms over the Farallons, covering the sea lions on their rocks, and then it sweeps onto Ocean Beach, filling the long green bowl of Golden Gate Park. The fog obscures the early morning joggers and the lone practitioners of tai chi. It mists up the windows of the Glass Pavilion. It creeps over the entire city, over the monuments and movie theaters, over the Panhandle dope dens and the flophouses in the Tenderloin.
The fog covers the pastel Victorian mansions in Pacific Heights and shrouds the rainbow-colored houses in the Haight. It walks up and down the twisting streets of Chinatown; it boards the cable cars, making their clanging bells sound like buoys; it climbs to the top of Coit Tower until you can’t see it anymore; it moves in on the Mission, where the mariachi players are still asleep; and it bothers the tourists” (Gender Dysphoria in San Francisco; 468). At first all those commas set a tempo, but by the semicolons, it’s more like the fog is moving in faster and consuming the city in its vastness.
It gives a cheerless and sullen tone. The imagery makes it look like everything is silent but the fog is making a silent commotion. It reminds me of “When You’re Gone” by Avril Lavigne. The slow tempo of the piano while she sings about the person missing, the pace gets faster as she talks about hope. The violin adds a melancholy tone but the guitar adds a tone of hope. Theme: After the Watergate Scandal is made public, and the Turks attack Cyprus, Milton and his friends argue that “America betrayed the Greeks”. In the heated debate “Milton shook his head.
He lowered his chin aggressively and made a little sound, a bark of disapproval, deep in his throat. ‘We have to do whatever’s in our national interest. ’ And then Milton lifted his chin and said it: ‘To hell with the Greeks. ’ In 1974, instead of reclaiming his roots by visiting Bursa, my father renounced them. Forced to choose between his native land and his ancestral one, he didn’t hesitate” (Flesh and Blood; 363). Many immigrants believed that through effort and moral values the American dream could be achieved, but many found themselves renouncing their traditions and beliefs.
Here, Milton has Americanized and rejects his ethnic background. It is all about money now, not about moral values. – Callie and Ethan are both trying to find themselves, to prove that they are not “monsters”. – Their families have a really rich history. -In the end, they find a purpose to keep on going, Julie and Ellen. -Both of their families are going for the American Dream, wealth. -Ethan renounces his moral values and Calliope renounces life as a female. -Callie’s father and Ethan both had very dutiful wives that trusted them. Callie and Ethan are both trying to find themselves, to prove that they are not “monsters”. – Their families have a really rich history. -In the end, they find a purpose to keep on going, Julie and Ellen. -Both of their families are going for the American Dream, wealth. -Ethan renounces his moral values and Calliope renounces life as a female. -Callie’s father and Ethan both had very dutiful wives that trusted them. Memorable Quote: “Ecstasy…meaning not what you think. Meaning not euphoria or sexual climax or even happiness.
Meaning…being driven out of one’s senses” (Flesh and Blood; 374). Works cited “The Herculine Effort That Grew. ” Interview by Catherine Keenan. Webcitation. org. The Sydney Morning Herald, 19 Oct. 2002. Web. 1 Jan. 2011. <http://www. webcitation. org/5onHI4JBj>. “Jeffrey Eugenides. ” Bloomsbury. com. Bloomsbury Publishing. Web. 1 Jan. 2011. <http://www. bloomsbury. com/jeffreyeugenides>. “Jeffrey Eugenides Has It Both Ways. ” Interview by David Weich. Powells. com. Powell’s City of Books, 25 Oct. 2002. Web. 1 Jan. 2011. ;http://www. powells. com/authors/eugenides. html;.