Middlesex Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 63 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Middlesex.
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Gender, Identity, and Rebirth

As a hermaphrodite, gender plays a pivotal role in Cal’s life. As a narrator he is hyper-aware of how gender manifests itself in both himself and those around him. He points out the ways in which the people in his life conform to and deny traditional gender roles. Desdemona and Tessie act traditionally. They cook and tend house. They are submissive to their husbands. They feel shameful about their bodies and sexuality. The feelings of shame are more prevalent in women than men. Sourmelina has little interest in child rearing. On the surface, she seems to obey her husband; however, in reality, she does whatever she pleases to do. Zoe similarly dominates her husband, Father Mike. Cal notes how diminished Mike’s sense of himself as a man is because of Zoe's domination. Milton and Tessie follow traditional gender patterns in how they handle...

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This section contains 1,167 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Middlesex Study Guide
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