How does Bronte intend the reader to feel towards Mr. Lockwood at the end of the first chapter?Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Mr. Lockwood establishes the mood of mystery and Gothic tone as the narrator of Chapter 1 of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights.  For, he takes delight in the misanthrope, Heathcliff, as they are both solitary and desolate men. In fact, Lockwood feels that they are a suitable pair because they can "divide the desolation between us."

Yet, part of the reader's impression of Lockwood is that he may be rather like his nomenclature, somewhat "locked" into his own perspective.  He possesses "a sympathetic chord" for Heathcliff without really knowing him, declaring that he knows "by instinct" that the man has an aversion to effusive displays of feelings.  In addition, Lockwood believes that Heathcliff loves and hates "under cover."  Apparently, Lockwood projects his own ability to express love to a woman which has caused his loss of her, to one of Heathcliff's idiosyncrasies as well.

Certainly, the reader is somewhat perplexed by the narrator, Mr. Lockwood, who ends the first chapter with the remark that he feels so much more sociable than Heathcliff--and he has declared himself a misanthrope!

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