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Liminality is the condition when one has overstretched an individual limits. In the book, Wuthering Heights the author uses imagery, allegory and symbolism to bring about the theme of liminality. The characters have also been used to enhance the same theme in the book. Heathcliff, a character in the book, signifies liminality in that the society places him in an unpredictable position. He has no close family unit, and the society does not recognize him. The name of the character is derived from the name of a dead person. It becomes difficult to place him in a strategic position in that he lies between the spirits, and those who are not dead. The character is described as a devil; this makes his position very unclear in that he lies between a supernatural being, and a human being.
He comes from a mixed race and this encourages the society to discriminate against the character. He is introduced by Mr.Earnshaw to the adopted family as a person with a dark complexion with ties from the devil. Different characters in the book have given him the name gipsy. He comes from a mixed race and these places him in a confusion state. This is the main reason the society discriminates against him. They do not understand him and view him with contempt. The character appearance is a subject of speculation and a reference point of judgment by other characters in the book. Even though he owns property later in life, he can not transform the way he looks, and the social aspect of it. The theme of liminality has also been portrayed in that circumstance that talks about the other world, and the existing world. It shows the life of those who are still alive in comparison with the departed souls. Cathy, a character in the book, is obsessed by her reflection of her self in the mirror. She is eager to go against the norm in the society to be with the departed relatives. Catherine ghosts haunts Heath cliff, and they can not be termed as either dead or living. The character has got two different personalities. Catherine Earnshaw, the other one being Catherine Linton. These are different characters, but she can not detach herself from her past. Liminality also acts as a barrier to separate the natural world and traditions.
Cathy experiences both and breaks the customs that are outlined in the society crossing to the other world. The ghosts signify the much needed closure which lacked between the two love birds. Heathcliff forces himself to trust in ghosts and the life after death as this symbolizes that Cathy soul still hovers around him. He wants Catherine ghosts to haunt him after she dies. The ghosts seem to be considered a symbol of love than devilish. The window is used symbolically to bring out the theme of liminality. The ghost of Cathy happens to be near the window and upon realizing that after Lockwood confessions on the reason for his screams. He begs for the ghost of Cathy to come back, and haunt him again. The windows act as an obstacle between the living people and the departed souls.
Lockwood dreams that he uses his knuckles to break the glass windows to signify breaking of the restrictions between the dead, and those who still exist. Catherine ghosts immediately appear to Lockwood indicating that the boundary dividing the two different worlds apart is no longer in place. Later on, Lockwood forms a buoy. However, Lockwood creates a border with books which is symbolic in nature as it brings back the original barrier that was formed by the window. It brings about the theme of modernization and change. The death of Cathy brings about crossing over from the world of the living to another world. Cathy ghosts open the window as her wish is to let her soul move freely. It is a clear example dictating how the window has been used to represent the life after death and the verge between existence and demise. It also acts as a prison as Catherine views it as a way of confining her soul to free movement. Lockwood dream indicating him allowing a young girl to come into his bedroom portrays sexual wishes. He uses culture as a mechanism to get himself out of the sexual trap. The sexual feelings symbolizes nature and as his desires start controlling him ,depicting crossing over of the obstacle which is the windows, he uses books signifying culture as a way of protection.
The window has been used to showcase Cathy imprisonment in that Heath cliff thinks that Cathy return would be made easy by breaking the glasses of the window so as to let her in the house. In the novel Catherine and the Heathcliff are the main characters. The love shared among the two equates spiritual twins. Catherine admits to Nelly that she can not let herself get married to Heathcliff as he is her own reflection. She claims their souls are the same while Linton soul is a contrast in comparison to them. The situation indicates that she is caught up between Heathclif and herself .She leads a double life. In the book Lockwood wants to cross over the obstacles and get into the house. On the other hand, Heathcliff is so determined to lock Lockwood out of the house. The gate is personified to show that Lockwood is not welcomed. He says that the gate does not show any sympathetic emotions.