Devon Komar Honors English
The book is set in an extremely secluded area within England. This suits Lockwood extremely well, as he defines himself as a “misanthropist”. Lockwood states, “‘Wuthering’ being a significant provincial adjective, descriptive of the atmospheric tumult to which its station is exposed in stormy weather. Pure, bracing ventilation they must have up there at all times, indeed: one may guess the mower of the north wind blowing over the edge…” (2). This shows that the property is often exposed to harsh winds, justifying the name “Wuthering Heights”.
Lockwood compares himself to Heathcliff by immediately assuming they must be similar. He thinks he must have “an aversion to showy displays of feeling”(4) and that “he’ll love and hate equally under cover”(4). However, he stops himself by thinking “No. I’m running on too fast: I bestow my own attributes over liberally on him.” (4) Lockwood is visiting Wuthering Heights because he is staying in another property owned by Heathcliff, and wishes to pay his landlord a visit.
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Heathcliff is extremely unsociable, and dislikes interaction with anyone from outside Wuthering Heights. This is evident from Lockwood’s statement, “It is astonishing how sociable I feel myself compared with him.” (6). Lockwood describes him as “a dark-skinned gypsy in aspect, in dress and manners a gentleman…” (3)
Lockwood blunders on his return to Wuthering Heights when he confuses the identities and relationships of the occupants of the house. He refers to Mr. Heathcliff’s daughter in law as his wife, and mistakes another man at the table for her husband. 7. The atmosphere in the kitchen is tense and unfriendly because the inhabitants of Wuthering Heights are unaccustomed to the presence of strangers, and Lockwood arrived uninvited.
The dogs add to the hostile atmosphere as they attempt to attack Lockwood. They are similar to the residents of Wuthering Heights because they are extremely unwelcoming and wary towards newcomers.
Catherine’s diary reveals that Heathcliff was treated very poorly by Hindley as a child. It also reveals that she and Heathcliff grew up together and seemed to be good friends. Lockwood experiences terrifying nightmares which cause him to scream in his sleep during his stay at Wuthering Heights. This adds to the mystery and gloom of the novel because it makes the reader feel as if there is something evil about the property which caused Lockwood’s dreams. Heathcliff’s actions at the window contrast his earlier actions because at the window he appears to be on edge and paranoid, while earlier in the novel he seems to be indifferent and unaffected by his surroundings. Analysis and Interpretations
Lockwood is directly involved in the action of the novel, because throughout these chapters a majority of the conflict has been based around him. However, he is not entirely reliable because he is new to Wuthering Heights, so does not know the stories or explanations for the other characters’ actions. This is evident in his confusion on the identities and relationships of those at lunch when he returns to Wuthering Heights, as well as when he does not know why no one has been allowed in the quarters which Zillah shows him to.
The atmosphere and mood of these chapters is unwelcoming and dark. This is seen in the residents of Wuthering Heights’ hostility towards Lockwood during his visits, especially during the lunch he attends. This is shown when Mrs. Heathcliff tells Lockwood, “You should not have come out,”(9).
Lockwood seems to be kind and sociable in comparison to the rest of the novel’s characters, however when he is first introduced he proclaims that he is a “misanthropist”. Heathcliff seems to be emotionless and indifferent, however when he comes to see what the source of the noise from Lockwood’s room is, he seems to be anxious and uncomfortable. Hareton seems to be rude, yet he opened the door to the house for Lockwood when he was struggling to get in.
Byronic heroes tend to be antisocial and dark, which are both defining characteristics of Heathcliff. He chooses to live in seclusion and strongly dislikes interaction with strangers. He was also mistreated as a child, shown by Catherine’s diary entry “Poor Heathcliff! Hindley calls him a vagabond, and won’t let him sit with us, nor eat with us any more; and he says, he and I must not play together, and threatens to turn him out of the house if we break his orders.” (21)
Lockwood uses verbal irony when he states “You see, sir, I am come, according to promise,”(10) because although he claims he promised to be there, Heathcliff made it quite clear that he did not wish for him to return during their last conversation. He also uses verbal irony when he states, “many could not imagine the existence of happiness in a life of such complete exile from the world as you spend, Mr. Heathcliff; yet, I’ll venture to say, that, as surrounded by your family, and with your amiable lady…” (11) because he appears to be stating that he believes Heathcliff is happy, however he truly believes that he is miserable.
Mrs. Heathcliff calls Joseph a “scandalous old hypocrite” (14) while they are arguing and he uses the devil’s name, because she believes that he will be “carried away bodily” (14). Important Quotes This is said by Lockwood when he first meets Heathcliff. It allows the reader to form an image of Heathcliff and picture him as Lockwood viewed him.
This is said by Lockwood during his nightmare in which Catherine Linton grabs his arm and refuses to let go unless he lets her in. This adds to the dark and mysterious atmosphere of the novel, as well as suggesting a supernatural presence in Wuthering Heights. This is said by Heathcliff after he hears of Lockwood’s nightmare. This shows that he believes the encounter with Catherine’s ghost was real, and that he had an extremely strong bond with Catherine.”