Middlesex | Study Guide

Jeffrey Eugenides

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Course Hero. "Middlesex Study Guide." Course Hero. 24 May 2017. Web. 5 June 2020. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Middlesex/>.

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Course Hero. "Middlesex Study Guide." May 24, 2017. Accessed June 5, 2020. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Middlesex/.


Course Hero, "Middlesex Study Guide," May 24, 2017, accessed June 5, 2020, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Middlesex/.


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Jeffrey Eugenides

Year Published






Perspective and Narrator

Middlesex is written in a hybrid voice. It shifts from first to third person and back again. The narrator, Cal Stephanides, is omniscient both in the first person and the third person. However, Cal admits that his narration may be untrustworthy: "Of course, a narrator in my position (prefetal at the time) can't be entirely sure about any of this."


Middlesex moves between the present, when the narrator is telling of his life now, and the past, when he is telling the stories of three generations of his family.

About the Title

Middlesex, named for Jeffrey Eugenides's childhood street, is the name of the street on which Cal grows up in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. Middlesex is also a reference to Cal's diagnosis of 5-alpha reductase deficiency, a genetic mutation that causes him to be intersex—neither girl nor boy, but somewhere in the middle. Eugenides has said the name also pays tribute to George Eliot's Middlemarch, a favorite book of his.


This study guide and infographic for Jeffrey Eugenides's Middlesex offer summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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