Chapter 11 Summary

The eleventh chapter, “Ex Ovo Omnia,” describes the circumstances of Cal’s birth. The title is Latin for “everything comes out of an egg.” It is from Calliope’s perspective that we learn this saying; she explains to her high school class that it is taken from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. This expression can be used to illustrate the theory of Preformation, where a family can be traced back to a common egg, like a Russian nesting doll. Cal sometimes imagines herself and her older brother, “Chapter Eleven,” sitting together like dolls before their birth. In 1954, Chapter Eleven leaves Cal; he “raised his arms and traveled down the waterslide into the world.”

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(The entire section is 718 words.)