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Middlesex Essay | Critical Essay #1

This Study Guide consists of approximately 84 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Middlesex.
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Critical Essay #1

Perkins is a professor of American and English literature and film. In this essay, she examines the tensions between integration and displacement in the novel.

Jeffrey Eugenides' Middlesex presents two narrative plot lines: the three-generational epic story of the Greek-American Stephanides family and a poignant coming-of-age tale of one member of that family. Cal's controlling voice integrates the two storylines that wind through the novel like Desdemona's silk threads, forming an intricate thematic fabric that illustrates the tensions between integration and displacement. As Cal recounts her family's struggle to establish a clear sense of themselves in their new world, she eventually comes to a cautious recognition and acceptance of her own uniqueness as well as her connection to the human community.

In the beginning of the book, Cal immediately identifies herself as a hermaphrodite, noting that she has lived first as a girl and then as a boy...

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This section contains 1,337 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Middlesex Study Guide
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Middlesex from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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