Study Guide

Middlesex Love

By Jeffrey Eugenides


It's pretty hard to concisely summarize the plot of Middlesex, but one way to boil it down would be to call it an epic quest. It's Greek, after all, and they love their quests. The characters of Middlesex aren't looking for the Golden Fleece, though, they're looking for love. And their love crosses all bounds: family, gender, war… you name it, and the love of the Stephanides family triumphs over it.

Questions About Love

  1. What different types of love are present in Middlesex? Romantic love? Family love? Sisterly love that turns into brotherly love?
  2. Does Cal really love the Obscure Object?
  3. What does Cal need to do in order to find a love of his own?
  4. Are there any characters in the novel who don't experience love? What are their lives like?

Chew on This

We talked about sex being necessary to make a family, but love is too. All the members of the Stephanides family are born from sex that results from love.

It sounds cheesy but it's true: Cal has to learn to love himself before he can love somebody else.