Study Guide

Middlesex Book 4, Chapter 7

By Jeffrey Eugenides

Book 4, Chapter 7

The Last Stop

  • Present-day Cal has told Julie Kikuchi his story, and you know what? She's excited to be with him, and explore him, and learn about him. Go figure.
  • Back in the past, Chapter Eleven retrieves Cal from San Francisco and brings him home. He's kind of excited to have a brother now. (He did like talking about masturbating a lot.)
  • Cal reunites with his mother and the family gets ready for Milton's wake when… all of a sudden…
  • Freaking Desdemona starts shrieking over the intercom! It feels like we haven't heard from her in hundreds of pages.
  • Cal goes to tend to her. At first, she thinks he's Lefty. "I thought you were my husband coming to take me to heaven" (4.7.122), she says.
  • She then tells him to go to Greece and fix up that church someday, before experiencing a moment of clarity.
  • She remembers who Calliope was, and realizes that Calliope is now Cal.
  • She blames herself for this transformation, crediting sleeping with her own brother way back when. She confesses this to Cal, and he's pretty cool with it. He says, "I like my life. […] I'm going to have a good life" (4.7.187).
  • They have Milton's funeral, but Cal stays with Desdemona.
  • He takes it upon himself to guard the door, "An old Greek custom […] so that Milton's spirit wouldn't reenter the house" (4.7.196).
  • It doesn't—Cal doesn't even feel it anywhere around.
  • Cal stands in the doorway, "weeping for [his] father, and thinking about what was next." (4.7.198)