The Liminality of Death in La amortajada (1938) by María Luisa Bombal


  • Jillian Hanley Florida Atlantic University
  • Carmen Quesada Florida Atlantic University


Bombal describes the experiences of Ana María, a  ecently deceased woman as she is prepared for burial. The focus of this research is
to compare Arnold van Gennep’s theory of rites of passage and Victor Turner’s characterization of liminality with the rite of passage
of the protagonist. In the second phase of a rite of passage, limen phase, a person has lost their previous identity and has not gained another. I expand Turner’s use of liminality of this phase to the period of death of Ana María in La amortajada. As the main character transitions from her recent death to burial, the limen phase provides a new space and time for her consciousness to explore past memories and the present surroundings and changes her state physically, mentally, and culturally.