Study Guide

Middlesex Book 4, Chapter 5

By Jeffrey Eugenides

Book 4, Chapter 5

Hermaphroditus

  • Cal has a new job with Bob Presto: he plays the god Hermaphroditus in Octopussy's Garden at a club called the Sixty-Niners.
  • Basically, this looks like Cal getting stoned everyday and jumping into a pool where patrons pay quarters to watch him through peepholes.
  • When the peepholes open, Cal shows them his mysterious genitalia. It's like a porn version of The Little Mermaid. Or merman.
  • He hangs out with his co-workers Carmen and Zora during the day, and spreads his legs in a swimming pool for strangers at night.
  • Back at Middlesex, Milton has been getting threatening phone calls. The stranger on the other line says that he has kidnapped Calliope and is holding her ransom.
  • Later, in San Francisco, police raid the Sixty-Niners and shut it down.
  • Being a minor, Cal gets off basically scot free. He calls home, asking for someone to get him.
  • Chapter Eleven answers, and tells Cal that their Dad is dead.