In Bronte's Wuthering Heights, what are the ways in which Lockwood compares himself to Heathcliff?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are a number of ways in which Lockwood reckons himself like Heathcliff, but he notes that there is a difference between them as well. In the first chapter, in which Lockwood is used by Bronte to establish Heathcliff's character traits, there are a number of instances in which Lockwood likens himself and Heathcliff saying they have the same qualities, in fact at one point Lockwood says:

No, I’m running on too fast: I bestow my own attributes over-liberally on him.

Nonetheless, Lockwood declares and demonstrates that while separation from social contact with others is the reason he comes to Thrushcross Grange, it is similarly the reason Heathcliff stays (well, one of the reasons) at Wuthering Heights:

completely removed from the stir of society.  A perfect misanthropist’s heaven: ... such a suitable pair to divide the desolation

In another comparison that is actually a contrastive comparison, Lockwood is commenting upon their individual capacities for sociability after his first visit to Wuthering Heights to show his respects to his new landlord. First, Lockwood declares Heathcliff intelligent, then happily muses about suddenly feeling very sociable when compared to Heathcliff's sour aptitude for sociability:

It is astonishing how sociable I feel myself compared with him.

lit24 | Student

1. In Ch.1 as soon as Lockwood becomes Heathcliff's  tenant at Thruscross Grange he remarks ironically, "A perfect misanthropist's Heaven:and Mr. Heathcliff and I are such a suitable pair to divide the desolation between us." Lockwood has come to Thrushcross Grange desolate and sad after failing to express his love to a beautiful girl whom he met last summer. He hopes his stay in the Grange will cure him of his depression. Heathcliff, as we all know, has been completely devastated after the death of his childhood infatuation Catherine. Both Heathcliff and Lockwood are solitary and desolate.

2. Later on, in Ch.1 When Lockwood first meets Heathcliff, Heathcliff does not welcome him warmly and Lockwood excuses his indifference by  saying, "I know, by instinct, his reserve springs from an aversion to showy displays of feeling." Lockwood is abe to excuse Heathcliff's rude behaviour and sympathise with him because like Heathcliff he is also a very reserved person. Last summer he met a beautiful girl and fell in love with her, she also understood that he loved her, but Lockwood instead of reciprocating her positive gesture and proposing marriage, "shrunk icily into myself, like a snail; at every glance retired colder and farther." Finally, the bewildered innocent beauty departed from his life altogether. Lockwood full of regrets and in deep depression becomes a tenant at Thrushcross Grange. Both Heathcliff and Lockwood are reserved by nature.

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Wuthering Heights

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