Study Guide

Middlesex Book 3, Chapter 1

By Jeffrey Eugenides

Book 3, Chapter 1

Home Movies

  • Dr. Phil—now seventy-four years old and not paying very close attention—delivers Calliope and declares her "a beautiful, healthy girl" (3.1.5).
  • On the same day that Cal is born, Lefty suffers a stroke that renders him unable to speak. Desdemona shuts herself away and watches As the World Turns every day. She kind of blames Calliope for the stroke, but she eventually grows to love her.
  • Since Lefty can no longer speak, he carries young Calliope around and communicates by humming.
  • Flash forward a few years. As a young girl, Calliope often talks with Marius Wyxzewixard Challouehliczilczese Grimes. (And you thought Greek names were hard to pronounce.) He's an Ethiopian nationalist and contemporary of Fard Muhammed. He calls Calliope "Little Queen of the Nile" (3.1.59), and Milton thinks he's a troublemaker.
  • Milton forbids Calliope from speaking to Marius, but Cal lets us know that it won't be long before she sees him again.