Study Guide

Middlesex Book 2, Chapter 4

By Jeffrey Eugenides

Book 2, Chapter 4


  • At the Temple of Islam, Desdemona starts hearing voices coming through the vent.
  • The speaker is a prophet, W.D. Fard, and Desdemona is "the only white person who ever heard W.D. Fard sermonize" (2.4.25). It's almost like she's hearing the voice of God. 
  • Fard talks about how evil white people are, and Desdemona starts believing him. 
  • Now that Lefty and Desdemona are both working, they drift further apart, straining their marriage.
  • On November 21, 1932, a man named Robert Harris kills a man in the name of the Order of Islam. This kind of gives the place a bad rap, so they all pack and leave. Desdemona is out of a job.
  • On her last day, she meets W.D. Fard, but he's not W.D. Fard at all… he's Jimmy Zizmo. He faked his own death and became the leader of the Nation of Islam. His new intials may be WDF, but this is totally a WTF moment for us.
  • No one ever sees him again.
  • And Desdemona will never have children again—she has her tubes tied.