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What is the meaning of the sentence "The Mulberry tree had no leaves" in the...

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reader333 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 5, 2007 at 6:25 AM via web

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What is the meaning of the sentence "The Mulberry tree had no leaves" in the last paragraph of Middlesex

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dymatsuoka | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 6, 2007 at 2:28 PM (Answer #1)

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Milton had always wanted a girl.  Due to a chromosomal error, his daughter, Calliope, was born a hermaphrodite.  Now Milton is dead and his daughter has chosen to live out her life as a boy.  The mulberry tree is barren, like Cal and her/his father's dreams.

Or, perhaps the author just mentions the tree's leaflessness to emphasize the wintry scene of Milton's funeral.  Two paragraphs previously he describes the willows as being bare as well, and the closing line are filled with references to the snow.

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