Study Guide

Middlesex Book 2, Chapter 3

By Jeffrey Eugenides

Book 2, Chapter 3

Marriage on Ice

  • Forty days after Jimmy Zizmo's funeral, Lina is done mourning and ready to move on with her life.
  • Desdemona, on the other hand, is kind of scared of living. She doesn't want to get pregnant again. This being a pre-pill era, she has only one choice for contraception: abstinence.
  • It drives Lefty and Desdemona apart.
  • Lefty focuses his pent up energies on opening a bar, The Zebra Room. It's a speakeasy, where people can go to drink and… speak, we guess. Easily.
  • Eventually Lefty and Desdemona come back together, and Desdemona has another child—a girl, Zoë Helen Stephanides, and Cal's future aunt.
  • Lina moves out of the house, but she only moves next door.
  • The stock market crashes. We're too depressed to rehash the details of this.
  • The financial crisis affects Desdemona because she has to get a job.
  • Lina finds a listing for silk worker, and Desdemona heads out. It's in a church populated almost exclusively by black people. Turns out, it's the beginnings of the Nation of Islam.
  • Desdemona fits right in, though. The girls there are eager to learn what she has to teach them about silk.