Mr. Lockwood in Wuthering Heights: Character Analysis & Quotes

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Margaret Stone

Margaret has taught both college and high school English and has a master's degree in English from Mississippi State University. She holds a Mississippi AA Educator License.

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Sasha Blakeley

Sasha Blakeley has a Bachelor's in English Literature from McGill University and a TEFL certification. She has been teaching English in Canada and Taiwan for seven years.

Who is the character Mr. Lockwood in Emily Bronte's 'Wuthering Heights'? This lesson delves into the character that, like the reader, stands outside the story and tries to comprehend the strange story he hears from Nelly Dean. Updated: 02/03/2021

Who Is Mr. Lockwood?

In Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, Mr. Lockwood hears an intricate and interesting tale. Lockwood, like the reader, stands outside the story and tries to comprehend the strange story he hears. Let's take a closer look at his character.

Mr. Lockwood is a wealthy gentleman who comes to spend a year in the country at Thrushcross Grange. Heathcliff, as the owner of Thrushcross Grange, is Lockwood's landlord. Lockwood meets Heathcliff at Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff's home atop the English moors. Lockwood is struck at once by the beauty and isolation of the area. ''This is certainly a beautiful country! In all England, I do not believe that I could have fixed on a situation so completely removed from the stir of society,'' Lockwood says.

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  • 0:04 Who Is Mr. Lockwood?
  • 0:49 Two Visits to…
  • 2:35 Frame Story
  • 3:53 Return to Wuthering Heights
  • 4:37 Lesson Summary
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Two Visits to Wuthering Heights

Lockwood's first visit to Wuthering Heights reveals an important clue about his character. Lockwood completely misjudges Heathcliff. When he first meets his landlord, Lockwood says, ''A capital fellow! He little imagined how my heart warmed towards him when I beheld his black eyes withdraw so suspiciously under their brows, as I rode up, and when his fingers sheltered themselves, with a jealous resolution, still further in his waistcoat, as I announced my name.'' All the clues are there: Lockwood's own description contains clues about Heathcliff's dark and guarded nature, yet Lockwood takes an instant liking to Heathcliff.

Not only is Lockwood depicted as a poor judge of the character of others, but he is also not very self-aware. Lockwood views himself as desirous of solitude, describing his new accommodations as ''A perfect misanthropist's heaven: and Mr. Heathcliff and I are such a suitable pair to divide the desolation between us.'' This statement later proves to be false as Lockwood is shown virtually clinging to Nelly Dean to alleviate his isolation.

On his second visit to Wuthering Heights, Lockwood gets a better sense of its strange inhabitants. Stranded at Heathcliff's home during a snowstorm, Lockwood finds his host anything but hospitable. Zillah, one of Heathcliff's servants, escorts Lockwood to a bedroom. In the bedroom, Lockwood first encounters the name of Catherine as he peruses her books. Later in the night, he experiences a nightmare or a ghostly vision, which elicits an odd response from Heathcliff. Heathcliff begs the ghost to enter Lockwood's bedroom—a plea that Lockwood does not understand at all. The next day, Heathcliff agrees to guide Lockwood back to the Grange, and Lockwood is more than happy to leave Wuthering Heights at last.

Frame Story

After the hair-raising night spent at Wuthering Heights, Lockwood becomes curious about Heathcliff and the other inhabitants of the house. The housekeeper Nelly Dean has been in the area 18 years, so when he returns to the Grange he decides to ask her about Heathcliff and the curious behavior of the residents of Wuthering Heights. ''Well, Mrs. Dean, it will be a charitable deed to tell me something of my neighbours: I feel I shall not rest if I go to bed; so be good enough to sit and chat an hour.''

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Additional Activities

Mr. Lockwood: Further Exploration

This lesson introduced you to the character of Mr. Lockwood from Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights. Take a look at the following activities to improve your understanding of this unusual character.

Character Study

If you were going to describe Mr. Lockwood, what words might you use? How would you describe him as a character? Write a character study that goes into detail about Mr. Lockwood, including his fears, motivations, desires, and personality. Make sure that you discuss how Mr. Lockwood changes over the course of the novel, especially in the way that his perception of Wuthering Heights shifts over time.

Compare and Contrast

Think about other characters that you have read about who remind you of Mr. Lockwood. One thing you might want to consider is that Mr. Lockwood is something of an unreliable narrator, at least in the way that he perceives Heathcliff. He is also an expository character whose main purpose is to be the conduit through which the audience learns about the story. Write an essay comparing and contrasting Mr. Lockwood and another, similar character in literature.

Examples: Enfield in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson; Robert Walton in Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.

Write Your Own

Now that you have thought about Mr. Lockwood in a lot of detail, write your own short story or missing chapter about him. What kinds of parts of his life are missing from the narrative of Wuthering Heights? You can even insert him into another scene in the novel just to see how he would respond to what happens. Look to Emily Bronte's writing style for inspiration.

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