Middlesex Essay

981 words 4 pages
Hermaphrodites and Society

Individuals are given the gift of life when they are born into this world. Many agree that everyone is blessed and should not take their lives for granted. To be truly alive, individuals must be overjoyed and pursue happiness. However, others would describe their lives as a joke. To be precise, many would be ashamed of who they are. A very strong example of an ashamed soul would be Calliope, the main protagonist of Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. In the story, Eugenides tells the tale of Callie, who is supposedly a monster because she is a hermaphrodite. Being a hermaphrodite indicates that someone has the sex organs associated with both genders. By definition, Callie is an abnormal freak. Eugenides
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Callie enunciates that “fear is stabbing me.” Callie feels horrible about her discovery of being a hermaphrodite; she actually visualizes fear around her. Callie feels frightened and vulnerable to the thought of others singling her out and chanting the monster. Callie cannot even comprehend what she feels, but can only implore she is engulfed by fear and incapable of accepting her secret getting out. This also expresses Callie’s extreme shame of being who she is, as well as how others will view her as a non –human. Callie comments on the chain within the dictionary as “speaking of poverty, mistrust, inequality, and decadence as she held onto it.” Callie establishes a connection between herself and the chain as both being bound to the worst parts of human lives. Callie strongly grasps the word monster in her hand, as if she is bound to it like the chain is. Callie cannot detach herself because deep in her heart, she understands that she is a monster, no matter how much she wishes not to be. As Callie leaves the Reading Room, Callie also cannot release the word monster from herself. Callie appeals that “the Webster’s dictionary kept calling after her, Monster, Monster!” Callie is so attached and strongly understands herself as a monster that she hears the word everywhere she goes. No matter where Callie goes, the word monster will always


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