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Wuthering Heights

by Emily Brontë

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What peculiarities and mysterious elements in Lockwood's room in Wuthering Heights establish the dream's mood?

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The supernatural element of Chapter 3 of Wuthering Heights initiates Gothic motifs as well as establishing some of the tension among characters.  When Zillah sneaks Lockwood into a room that Heathcliff has forbidden anyone to enter, the tenant finds no bed, but locates a "clothespress," a type of closet where Lockwood hides securely from Heathcliff. While inside this enclosed area, Lockwood discovers a diary of Catherine Earnshaw, but he falls asleep. However, his candle has begun to burn one of the "antique volumes"; he awakens and begins to read Catherine's diaries until he begins to dream.

Lockwood has a disturbing dream that it is morning and he has ventured homeward, accompanied by Joseph. On the way, they come to a chapel where Lockwood is accused of having committed the "first of the Seventy-First" and is then surrounded by the whole assembly of men who strike at him. Fortunately, he awakens, but it is to the sound of a branch against the window of the oak closet where he lies.  Attempting to open the casement, Lockwood observes that it has been soldered; however, he loosens it finally, only to his horror as an icy hand grabs him and a voice sobs, "I'm come home: I'd lost my way on the moor!"  Seeing a child's face, Lockwood's terror exceeds his kindness, and he yanks the child's wrist onto the broken pane; blood runs down on his sheets and the child cries, "Let me in!" as she clings to Lockwood. When he orders the ghost away, she refuses, telling him she has waited twenty years; a scratching is heard and Catherine's diaries move as those they are pushed.

At this point, Heathcliff appears, yelling and pushing the door of the closet open:

The first creak of the oak startled him like an electric shock:  the light leaped from his hold to a distance of some feet, and his agitation was so extreme, that he could hardly pick it up.

After Lockwood explains to Heathcliff what has occurred, Heathcliff tells his tenant that he may go to his own room; however, as he descends the stairs, Lockwood overhears Heathcliff calling out the window,

“Cathy, do come in! My heart’s darling! Hear me this time, Catherine, at last.”

That Heathcliff begs in such a manner indicates to Lockwood that this is not the sole occurrence of such a haunting, and he is greatly unnerved.

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