Study Guide

Middlesex Book 4, Chapter 2

By Jeffrey Eugenides

Book 4, Chapter 2

Looking Myself Up in Webster's

  • Worried about this procedure that is going to make her "better," Calliope goes to the library to do some research.
  • Under "hermaphrodite," Webster's dictionary refers to "See synonyms at Monster" (4.2.43). It's a really rough moment in the book.
  • As if Calliope wasn't under crisis enough, she finds out that the doctor is going to perform a small procedure to keep her a girl. "You won't be Raquel Welch, but you won't be Twiggy either" (4.2.65), he says.
  • When Dr. Luce leaves the room, Calliope reads her report and discovers that Dr. Luce has been lying. Genetically speaking, Calliope is primarily male.
  • Wanting to stay male, Calliope decides to runs away. She leaves a note for her mom and dad in the hotel room and notes, "It was the last time I was ever their daughter" (4.2.109).