Dream A Little Dream of... America : Identity and Ideology in Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex

University essay from Karlstads universitet

Abstract: Jeffrey Eugenides’ 2002 novelMiddlesex follows the protagonist Cal Stephanides in his exploration of the origins of the genetic mutation which causes him to be born intersexed. Weaved into this memoir is a 75-year history of the United States. This essay analyses the forces of the ideological phenomenon of the American dream through a Marxist perspective and how it shapes and reshapes the identities of five characters in Middlesex. I conclude that although proponents of the American dream claim that an individual can choose how to live his/her life through hard work and determinism, in Middlesex, the characters’ individual choice seems to be determined by factors that are out of their control such as social background, genetics and luck. 

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