What impression does Lockwood get of Wuthering Heights and its inhabitants when he leaves for home for the second time? chapter 2

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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In chapter 2 of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heightswe find Lockwood in a very awkward situation. He enters Wuthering Heights and, from the moment he goes inside, he sees some of the weirdest relationships and behaviors that he has yet to see in his life.

The first thing that strikes Lockwood is the treatment that he is given: Nobody cares about the fact that he has just come inside from a snow storm, that he is cold, that he needs lodging, nor that he should be treated at least with some respect as a guest. This is what would have been typically expected of hosts during Victorian England.

However, he gets the exact opposite: He is let in with disdain, ignored for the most part, and openly able to take a part inside the family drama and dysfunctional structure.

First, he meets a disheveled young man who constantly argues with a beautiful fair-haired woman. She, in turns glances at Lockwood with anger and contempt. Things are obviously not well between the two young persons.

Right after he is quite mistreated by them, in comes the scary and powerful person of Heathcliff. Heathcliff is the most hateful of them all. He treats both Cathy and Hareton (which are the names of the young woman and the messy-looking young man) as servants. However, Lockwood can tell that they cannot be servants because they sit at table with Heathcliff. As Lockwood inquires about everyone's identity he receives more and more ugly remarks. In the end, he realizes that Cathy is Heathcliff's daughter-in-law, that her former husband is now dead (Heathcliff's son), and that Heathcliff seems to hate her.

In a similar note, Hareton Earnshaw is also treated like a butler and Heathcliff makes a clear note that Hareton is not his son. This is indicative that Heathcliff also thinks very lowly of Hareton.

In all, Lockwood witnesses a very dysfunctional family whose members hate each other, and who live under the same roof, eat at the same table, and share lodgings for whatever mysterious reason.

It is understandable that Lockwood absolutely leaves with a horrid impression of these people and vows never to return to Wuthering Heights again.

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