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Liminality in 'Dracula' and 'The Goblin Market'

Could someone explain what liminality is and what are some examples of it in these texts. Thanks.

Answers
I've just defined liminality in my answer to your question about Dickinson: it's being half way between two states, in strict anthropology between outsider and accepted member of a social group, but it is used in a wider sense in literary studies, and informs much post-structuralist thinking, including queer theory.  Dracula naturally lends itself to such an interpretation: what is a vampire but the un-dead, neither living or dead?  Laura and Lizzie are similarly on the threshold, clearly sexual, in Goblin Market.  Will they be seduced by the alien goblins? 
martin_paterson
08 December 2015
... and when I typed "neither living or dead", I meant "neither living nor dead", but then there is no edit facility on this page, and so I had crossed my own chilling threshold when I pressed send and could not retreat.  I'll be more careful next time, "With clasping arms and cautioning lips,/ With tingling cheeks and finger tips..."  or will I?
martin_paterson
08 December 2015
Think of liminality as a state of transition, of being on the threshold, of being neither one thing nor the other. In Dracula, even the Count's castle is liminal, positioned as it is on the borders of three states. Dracula himself is a liminal character, as discussed in the previous comments, and Lucy becomes another as the narrative goes on: however, I think Mina is another good example. Her physical boundaries are blurred by Dracula, and so are her intentions- she is powerless to resist helping the Count due to what he's done to her, making her a strange go-between between the 'light' and 'dark' characters. In 'The Goblin Market', Laura and Lizzie seem to occupy a liminal position between innocence and womanhood. The goblins appear in a liminal, twilight time and space: neither day nor night, and neither on solid ground or in water (in the rushes, instead). Indeed, you might say that both texts abound in blurred boundaries, with liminality something to be scared of- something deviating from the normal, safe, Victorian patriarchal society. 
Chloe G.
04 January 2016
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