Middlesex | Study Guide

Jeffrey Eugenides

Download a PDF to print or study offline.

Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "Middlesex Study Guide." Course Hero. 24 May 2017. Web. 15 Nov. 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Middlesex/>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2017, May 24). Middlesex Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved November 15, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Middlesex/

In text

(Course Hero, 2017)



Course Hero. "Middlesex Study Guide." May 24, 2017. Accessed November 15, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Middlesex/.


Course Hero, "Middlesex Study Guide," May 24, 2017, accessed November 15, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Middlesex/.

Middlesex | Characters

Character Description
Cal Stephanides The mostly omniscient narrator, variously called Cal, Callie, or Calliope, has 5-alpha reductase deficiency. He was raised as a girl, but at puberty it becomes apparent that he is a boy. Read More
Desdemona Stephanides Cal's grandmother, Desdemona, born in Asia Minor, is married to her brother, Lefty. Read More
Lefty Stephanides Cal's grandfather, Elutherios "Lefty" Stephanides, is a bartender. He is, perhaps, the most optimistic of all the characters. Read More
Milton Stephanides Militiades or Milton Stephanides, Cal's father, is a Greek American businessman. He is politically conservative and devoted to his daughter. Read More
Tessie Stephanides Theodora "Tessie" Stephanides is Cal's mother. She is remains very close to her daughter, even when he becomes her son. Read More
Obscure Object The Obscure Object is Cal's first love. Read More
Father Mike Father Mike Antoniou blackmails Milton Stephanides, ultimately leading to Milton's death. Read More
Zoë Stephanides Antoniou Zoë Antoniou or Aunt Zo is Milton's little sister. She is meek at church but fierce and funny at home.
Carmen Carmen is a preoperative male-to-female transsexual who performs in a sex show as Ellie and her Electric Eel.
Chapter Eleven Chapter Eleven is Cal's brother, so named because he bankrupts the family business.
Mr. da Silva Mr. da Silva is Callie's English teacher, a great teacher who infects her with his love of the classics. He puts on Antigone with his eighth graders, with tragic results. It is in his class that Callie meets the Object.
Marius Wyxzewixard Challouehliczilczese Grimes Marius Grimes is named for an Ethiopian nationalist. To her father's dismay, Callie likes to talk with him; he speaks truth about oppression. He ultimately burns The Zebra Room down, which allows the Stephanides to collect insurance money and start a new life in the suburbs.
Maxine Grossinger Maxine is a "shy violin prodigy" and a classmate of Callie's. Her family is friends with the Stephanideses, as they, as Jews, are equally outcast from Grosse Pointe social circles. Maxine's sudden death during a production of Antigone propels the Obscure Object into Callie's arms.
Jerome Jerome is the Obscure Objects older brother, a student filmmaker. Callie loses her virginity to him.
Julie Kikuchi Julie Kikuchi is adult Cal's romantic interest. She is a Japanese American artist living in Berlin.
Zora Khyber Zora Khyber performs in the sex show as Melanie the Mermaid. She is a beautiful intersex creature who does not want to be defined as female or male.
Dr. Peter Luce Peter Luce is a sex researcher of renown. However, Callie runs away when Luce recommends surgery to make her similar to other girls.
Bob Presto Bob Presto owns a sex club called the Sixty-Niners in San Francisco. He picks Cal up while he is hitchhiking across the country and later offers him a job.
Dr. Philobosian Dr. Nishan Philobosian is an Armenian physician whose life is inextricably bound to the Stephanides. His entire family was murdered by the Turkish army. Lefty saves his life as Smyrna burns. He reappears in Detroit and becomes the family physician. He delivers Callie and does not notice anything amiss with her genitals.
Rosalee Rosalee is the nurse by whom Dr. Philobosian is distracted when he first examines Callie. They go on to marry.
Clementine Stark Clementine Stark is Callie's first friend in Grosse Pointe. She is also the recipient of Callie's first kiss.
Peter Tatakis Peter Tatakis or Uncle Pete is a chiropractor. He gives Milton the "scientific" advice on how to conceive a girl.
Meg Zemka Meg Zemka is Chapter Eleven's Marxist girlfriend, who causes a tremendous amount of tension in the Stephanides house.
Jimmy Zizmo Jimmy Zizmo is married to the Stephanides's cousin Lina. He has a mysterious background. Later, he turns up as Mr. Fard, the leader of the Nation of Islam. He is Tessie Stephanides's father.
Lina Zizmo Sourmelina or Lina Zizmo is Lefty and Desdemona's first cousin. She sponsors them for citizenship in America. Lina is a lesbian who left the small Greek community in Turkey because her parents could not marry her off. She is Tessie's mother.
Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about Middlesex? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!