The Purpose of this Blog

Your task on this blog is to write a brief summary of what we learned in class today. Include enough detail so that someone who was ill or missed the lesson can catch up with what they missed. Over the course of the term, these 'class scribe' posts will grow to be a guide book for the course, written by students for students.

With each post ask yourself the following questions:
1) Is this good enough for our guide book?
2) Will your post enable someone who wasn't here to catch up?
3) Would a graphic/video/link help to illustrate what we have learned?

Wednesday, 10 October 2012


Liminality: Symbols, Motifs and Themes
Liminal: of pertaining to, or situated at the limen (threshold); the unfixed position between any two oppositional terms; the experience of being on a threshold or a boundary; marginal
Heathcliff is liminal in the following ways:
-          He is an outsider, there is a barrier between the classes
-          His name, named after the dead- marginal position between the living and the dead
-          Borderline between a supernatural creature and a man “imp of Satan”, “dark almost as if it came from the devil”
There is Liminality between Life and Death:
-          Cathy is haunted by her own face in the mirror when she is about to die, she is already able to see her own ghost even though she is not yet dead
-          When Lockwood struggles with the ghost, the windowpane acts as a barrier between the real world and the supernatural
-          Eyes are also used within the novel as a portal into the other world. Heathcliff’s eyes always seem supernatural and connected with the underworld
Ghosts- a liminal state:
-          The borders between life and death are broken down
-          The ghosts of Heathcliff and Cathy hover together  in a liminal state
-          Strength and passion can transcend this world into a spiritual world beyond
-          Brontë uses the gothic idea of the supernatural and the transgressed ‘limen’ to demonstrate the importance of passion to her and that it is able to last beyond death
Liminality between Nature and Culture:
-          When Cathy and Heathcliff visit Thrushcross Grange, the look into the Grange through the barrier of a window. The window can be seen to symbolise the border between the nature outside and the culture within
-          Brontë uses liminality to show that society’s borders and barriers are too confining. There had to be room in life for nature and strong feelings to break through

The Uncanny

Uncanny: 'Mysterious, weird, uncomfortably strange or familiar' - OED

We looked at different explanations of the word uncanny and from these we tried to understand the word in our own way. These included:

*The barrier between the known and the unknown
*Familiar and foreign (teetering on the brink)
*A feeling of unfamiliarity and uncertainty
*The uncanny of the monumental
*The heimlich: homely and the unheimlich: unhomely

We also had to comment on the view that Wuthering Heights is filled with uncanny and disturbing occurences.