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mpottash's picture

Middlesex

In reading Middlesex, I began to think more about Paul Grobstein's argument that biology is a story.  In the first paragraph of the book, Cal writes that you can see him on the pages of medical and genetic journals and books.  Until he wrote this book, his story had been told primarily in a biological way.  This made me think of the question that Professor Grobstein asked in the beginning of class - what is the opposite of biology.  We decided as a class that the opposite of biology was not literature.  Instead, literature and biology, at least at times, can be related.  Both tell a story.  Knowing this, how should we look at Eugenides' book?  What are the implications of combining biology and literature.  The fact that in this first paragraph Cal is contrasting the way in which his story had been told, and they way in which he is about to tell it, implies that biology and literature tell two different types of stories.  Yet in this case, they are both tightly linked.  If it were not for biology, perhaps Cal would not be able to tell his story.  However, it also seems that literature is allowing Cal to tell his story in a way which he had not previously been able to do.

 In relation to our conversation on the ways in which genes effect sex and gender, Cal seems to believe that genes significantly affect how we live in the world, as he writes that "we know we carry this map of ourselves around.  Even as we stand on the street corner, it dictates our destiny" (37).  It seems that in writing this book, Cal (or Eugenides), will explore the roles that genes play in culture, in sex and gender, and in our own stories.

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