Study Guide

Wuthering Heights Chapter 2

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Chapter 2

  • Lockwood ventures back through "heath and mud" (2.1) for another visit to Wuthering Heights. The gate is locked, so he jumps over it, only to find the front door locked too. He is clearly not one to take no for an answer, so he knocks until Joseph yells at him through the door.
  • Standing in the snow, Lockwood finally gets the attention of a young man who lets him into the kitchen. There he finds a woman he addresses as "Mrs. Heathcliff." She only speaks to tell him he should not have left the house and that the aggressive pack of dogs does not belong to her.
  • Lockwood spends a good amount of time checking out the "missis." She's blonde, young, and skinny, but has a look of scorn that even Lockwood can't fail to notice.
  • Also joining them in the kitchen is the young man who let him into the house. It's not clear who he is—he looks like a "common labourer" (2.33) but doesn't treat the missis with much respect, so now Lockwood is really confused.
  • Enter Heathcliff, not surprisingly unhappy to see Lockwood in his kitchen a second time. Heathcliff's harsh manner with the unidentifiable young man makes Lockwood finally realize that he might not be such a nice fellow after all. After putting his foot in his mouth several times, Lockwood realizes that the missis is, in fact, Heathcliff's daughter-in-law, and the cranky young fellow is Hareton Earnshaw. Remember the name above the door? Hmm.
  • As all of this is going down, a huge snowstorm has arrived, preventing Lockwood from leaving. No one is interested in helping him home, Heathcliff resents having to show any hospitality, and the dogs—Gnasher and Wolf—become so excited by the scene that they floor Lockwood, giving him a bloody nose. Finally the wretched group brings Lockwood back in and gives him some brandy.

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