Book Analysis of Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

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Custom essay writing help: Book Analysis of Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Chapter 1, Summary

In Chapter 1 the narrator, Mr. Lockwood, relates how he has just returned from a visit to his new

landlord, Mr. Heathcliff. Lockwood, a self-described misanthropist, is renting Thrushcross

Grange in an effort to get away from society following a failure at love. He had fallen in love with

a “real goddess,” but when she returned his affection he acted so coldly she “persuaded her

mamma to decamp.” He finds that relative to Heathcliff, however, he is extremely sociable.

Heathcliff, “a dark skinned gypsy, in aspect, in dress, and manners a gentleman” treats his visitor

with a minimum of friendliness, and the farm, Wuthering Heights, where he lives, is just as foreign

and unfriendly. “Wuthering” means stormy and windy in the local dialect. Dangerous-looking

dogs inhabit the bare and old-fashioned rooms, and threaten to attack Lockwood: when he calls

for help Heathcliff implies that Lockwood had tried to steal something. The only other inhabitants

of Wuthering Heights are an old servant named Joseph and a cook. Despite his rudeness,

Lockwood finds himself drawn to Heathcliff: he describes him as being intelligent, proud and

morose, an unlikely farmer, and declares his intention to visit Wuthering Heights again. The visit

is set in 1801.


This chapter introduces the reader to the frame of the story: Lockwood will gradually discover

the events which led to Heathcliff ­ now about forty years old ­ living all but alone in Wuthering

Heights, almost completely separated from society. The casual violence and lack of concern for

manners or consideration for other people which characterizes Heathcliff here is only a hint of the

atmosphere of the whole novel, in which that violence is contrasted with more genteel and

civilized ways of living.

Chapter 2, Summary

Annoyed by the housework being done in the Grange, Lockwood pays a second visit to

Wuthering Heights, arriving there just as snow begins to fall. The weather is cold, the ground is



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