Study Guide

Middlesex Book 1, Chapter 3

By Jeffrey Eugenides

Book 1, Chapter 3

An Immodest Proposal

  • Let's check in with present-day Cal, shall we? He's living in Europe, and he has the hots for an Asian woman on a bicycle.
  • Okay, back to Turkey.
  • Turkey is on fire. All of Desdemona's silkworms have stopped spinning, and Desdemona and Lefty are making plans to flee to America.
  • Another person with a long, nearly unpronounceable name is introduced to our narrative: Dr. Nishan Philobosian. He repairs a Greek man's injured thumb. (Spoiler alert: the Greek man is Lefty.)
  • Dr. Phil (not that Dr. Phil) believes he is safe from the Greek invasion, but soldiers kill his family while he is away from home. If your entire family has never been murdered before, it seems like the feeling is the same as reading the end of Charlotte's Web. You cry for days and days.
  • Back to Desdemona and Lefty… well, they're kind of falling in love. With each other. "What am I doing? Desdemona thought. He's my brother!" (1.2.65).
  • Desdemona and Lefty manage to gain passage on a ship to America, and they get Dr. Phil on the boat with them.