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Dawn's picture

"Themes of My Life - Chance and Sex"

Cal generally brigns up the idea that he may have learned something from his experience being raised as a girl. If this were not true, it would have been far more frustrating for the reader at the beginning of Book 3 when we find out that there may have been a chance for the discovery of the fact that Cal was intersex much earlier.

The circumstance of what happened in the delivery room is so ironic, because it reflects the theme that became a central one in Cal's life. Dr. Philobosian's sexual interest in Nurse Rosalie distracts him enough that he does not examine Cal as well as he could have. "Five minutes old, and already the themes of my life - chance and sex - announce themselves," (p. 216)

Then, Callie pees in the priest's face during her baptism. This is a comical moment, yet also a somewhat revealing one. The adults just laugh and joke about Father Mike's reaction. Only Chapter Eleven notices anything out of the ordinary, "'That went really far,' marveled Chapter Eleven," (p. 222), but he doesn't exactly know what's going on. Everyone remained oblivious. "In all the commotion, no one wondered about the engineering involved," (p. 222).

Later on it is suggested that it would have taken more than just a simple exam to figure out that Cal was a hermaphrodite before he hit puberty. His pediatrician wasn't entirely sure until then. However, there was always that chance that someone could have picked up on earlier moments in Cal's life and pieced them together in order to figure somehting out. The themes play out completely...chance and sex.


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