The Different Implications of the Name 'Middlesex' in the Novel of the Same Name by Jeffrey Eugenides
Seminar paper from the year 2005 in the subject American Studies - Literature, grade: 1,3, University of Paderborn (Anglistik und Amerikanistik), course: Jeffrey Eugenides's Middlesex, language: English, abstract: The novel Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides won the Pulitzer Price in 2002. If you endeavour to sum up the story in one sentence, you could say it is an epic tale of an hermaphrodite of Greek origin, of his genealogy and of the first forty years of his life in the USA and in Berlin, told by himself. The question is: Why did Eugenides choose the title 'Middlesex' for his novel? and: How can the motive 'Middlesex' be traced in the text? In trying to answer this, I used different ways of appraoch. First I strived to get some explanations from the outside, using dictionaries, the internet, and also referring to 'Middlemarch' by George Eliot, because the title bears a resemblance to 'Middlesex'. Next I found some interviews on the internet in which Eugenides speaks about his book. Then I turned to the novel itself. It is obvious that I looked into the chapter 'Middlesex' first. Then I tried to find out whether there was any connection between the hermaphrodite status of Cal and the title. The last step I took was to analyze the relations of the four couples who make up Cal's entourage in order to learn, if there was anything that linked them to the title. A short evaluation of the results of this quest shall be given in the conclusion of this paper.
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