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Narrating Identity in Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex

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dc.contributor.advisor Mohan, Rajeswari Piastra, Elizabeth 2007-02-28T20:25:00Z 2007-02-28T20:25:00Z 2006
dc.description.abstract Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex is the first person narrative of Cal, an individual who has lived a “mythical life” (Eugenides 424) and experienced the “impossible” (Eugenides 516) and whose narrative is described as “this singular and uncommon record” (Eugenides 512). Cal’s story is that of one of the so-called “others” in society, and yet, his narrative is a search for origin and a journey of self-discovery in which the social constructions of normality and otherness are revealed. As Cal points out, “I was beginning to understand something about normality. Normality wasn’t normal. It couldn’t be. If normality were normal, everybody could leave it alone” (Eugenides 446). Cal’s narrative demonstrates that though categories may contribute to one’s identity, no single category is capable of determining everything about one’s experiences, which are entirely one’s own and no one else’s. In other words, categories are constructed though not independent of one another and have material consequences. This understanding of categories is why there can be no “typical” experience, why there is no such thing as “normal.”
dc.description.sponsorship Haverford College. Department of English
dc.language.iso eng
dc.subject.lcsh Eugenides, Jeffrey. Middlesex
dc.subject.lcsh Eugenides, Jeffrey -- Criticism and interpretation
dc.subject.lcsh Identity (Philosophical concept) in literature
dc.title Narrating Identity in Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex
dc.type Thesis
dc.rights.access Open Access

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