Study Guide

Middlesex Book 2, Chapter 2

By Jeffrey Eugenides

Book 2, Chapter 2


  • Cal tells us that, "like most hermaphrodites" (2.2.1) he cannot have children. He also tells us that he's little wary of falling in love with Julie Kikuchi, the Asian woman on the bicycle.
  • Back to the 20s, Lefty, Desdemona, Lina, and Jimmy Zizmo see a dramatization of The Minotaur. We won't mince words: The minotaur is horny (because, you know, he has horns) and after seeing the play, our four main characters are too.
  • Lina and Desdemona get pregnant on the same night.
  • Desdemona uses a spoon to predict the sex of Lina's baby—a girl—and she's right. Lina's daughter is born in December.
  • Shortly thereafter, Jimmy Zizmo recruits Lefty to work with him. The job: smuggling liquor to and from the Canadian border.
  • One night they drive their car across a frozen lake. The car doesn't make it, and neither does Jimmy Zizmo, but Lefty survives.
  • That same night, Desdemona gives birth to a baby boy: Miltiades Stephanides, called Milton, cousin to Lina's daughter, Theodora.
  • Cal draws our attention to something the naked eye won't see: a mutation that will one day lead to an intersex child.